LAHORE – The Cecil & Iris Chaudhry Foundation (CICF) has expressed deep concern over the mass arrests being carried out by law enforcement agencies in Youhanabad Lahore.
According to local residents the law enforcement agencies have been making mass arrests for almost a week in reference to the tragic lynching incident that occurred in the aftermath the Church attacks. “Men in civil clothing storm in to people’s homes past midnight taking men and young boys. There is a wave of extreme fear, which has compelled majority of the residents to flee their homes, making it extremely difficult for life to return to normalcy,” said a local resident of Youhanabad.
President of The Cecil & Iris Chaudhry Foundation (CICF) Michelle Chaudhry while expressing her concern said, “We have and continue to condemn the extremely tragic incident of the lynching of two people at Youhanabad. Such extreme form of violence is absolutely not acceptable. The perpetrators must be brought to justice and punished according to the law.”
“However, the tactics being used by the law enforcement authorities is highly inappropriate; barging into people’s homes in the middle of the night and picking up husbands, sons and brothers, and showing no respect what so ever to family or personal life cannot be justified. These are neither terrorists nor hard core criminals. Therefore, they should not be treated as such. The rule of law must prevail. We request the government to look in to this matter on an urgent basis and release all those illegally detained.” Michelle Chaudhry further said.
CICF also expressed disappointment over the comments of the Federal Minister for Interior, Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, who in Parliament declared the Youhanabad lynching incident as “worst form of terrorism.”
“We by no means condone the lynching incident. However, declaring it an act of terrorism is certainly not justified. By doing so, the entire focus is shifted to the lynching incident, subsuming the Church attacks which left at least 20 people dead and over 80 people injured,” Michelle Chaudhry said.
The Advocacy & Legal Aid team of CICF visited the affected families, expressed solidarity and assured them that all efforts will be made to prevent injustice. By: Marian Sharaf Joseph