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Christian woman in Pakistan dies from acid attack after refusing marriage proposal

by Cara Bentley

The woman, Asma Yacoob had acid thrown on her by Rizwan Gujjar, 30, who was a friend of her brother's who she refused to marry.

According to CLAAS (Centre for Legal Aid, Assistance and Settlement – a group who support persecuted Christians in Pakistan), on 10th April Gujjar threw large amounts of acid on her and then set fire to her before running away.

Yacoob was working as a beautician for a bride in Pak Pura town, Sialkot, when she was told her brother had arrived and wanted to speak to her, only to find that when she went out into a courtyard it was Gujjar. 

After the attack she was taken to Civil Hospital and later to Mayo Hospital in Lahore but died 11 days later.

Gujjar was arrested the day after the attack.

Nasir Saeed, Director CLAAS in the UK said this was just one terrible example of how Christian women are treated in Pakistan, saying: "They are often harassed and intimidated at their workplace. They are often asked to convert to Islam and to marry Muslim colleagues."

In a statement CLAAS said: "Christian girls are looked upon as inferior and as a commodity, and have no respect in society."

They say that some women are kidnapped and forced to convert to Islam and that: "Such cases are becoming everyday matters and the police hardly make any advances, especially if the victim is Christian."

There are laws in Pakistan against such behaviour but their implementation is difficult.

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