CHRISTIAN ASYLUM SEEKERS who escaped violence in Pakistan have been forced to leave Sri Lanka and return to their homeland to face persecution.

The Court of Appeal in Sri Lanka has overturned (September 1) an interim suspension order made on August 15 by lawyer Lakshan Dias and supported the Government’s hostile policy towards the refugees. Deputy Solicitor General Janaka de Silva cited evidence that the Pakistanis had brought illness into the country and crimes.

More than 100 Pakistani Christians and others have been sent back since the beginning of August.

Christians in Pakistan often encounter false blasphemy charges by radical Muslims. Punishments can include the death sentence. Some 81 Christians were killed and 130 others injured following a suicide bomb during a church service in Peshawar in September 2013.

Christian Aid has recently cited a United Nations report calling the human rights situation in Pakistan ‘extremely serious’.

A Christian Aid briefing said: “There is judicial corruption, honour killing, trafficking of women and children, torture in custody, disappearance after arrest, suicide attacks on religious sites, forced marriage, and poverty levels have risen to 34 per cent.”

Chris Eyte

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