Christian human rights activist and director of NGO Peace Worldwide, Hector Aleem, was taken into custody in January 2009 because a militant Islamic group accused him of sending a ‘blasphemous’ text message from his cell phone. If convicted, he faces the death penalty under Pakistani law.
Prior to the 55-year-old’s arrest, Aleem was threatened by Islamic groups with assassination attempts and lawsuits because he objected to the illegal destruction of a church by Islamabad’s capital development authority (CDA). Muslim leaders threatened to kill him and his sons, and to forcibly convert his daughters to Islam.
Although a heart patient, Aleem has not been allowed to consume his medication and he has been denied visitation in prison. He was denied bail because Islamic mobs filled his trial courtroom and threatened to kill the judge, Aleem, and Aleem’s lawyer.
Aleem is the recipient of a peace award by Pakistan’s Prime Minister.
A Facebook group set up for him consists of freedom-loving members, from all around the world and of all different beliefs, or lack thereof, united for Hector Aleem’s right to freedom, dignity, and fair due process. For instance, one letter received by the Aleems read "You are Christian and it is a good deed to kill you. My Allah will be very happy if I kill you." (See here and here.)
It has been over a year since Hector has been incarcerated. His family urgently needs you and your friends to raise funds for Hector as soon as possible. The breakdown for these funds are as follows:
- Because no lawyer wants to take Hector’s (locally unpopular) case, only one lawyer agreed to represent him for a relatively high price of $2,500. Unless he receives this amount by the end of this month, he will not represent Hector!
- Hector requires medication in prison. He also needs clothing and hygienic supplies. His family, living for over a year without their father’s support, are also in need for housing, hygienic, and nutritional items. They have had little to eat – not even the most basic food items you would typically have on the table. The family estimates that they would need approximately $250 to cover these expenses for Hector and themselves.
These seem like large amounts. However, please donate any amount you can, even if it’s a few dollars. Many small donations quickly add. Even a few dollars can go a long way in Pakistan!
Please donate via PayPal by following this link:
Hector’s family has agreed to make every effort to store and reproduce receipts from your generous donations.
Let’s help Hector and show the authorities that humanity will not acquiesce to their mistreatment of Hector and other religious minorities.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me or any of Hector’s family members (listed as administrators of the group). While your donation is important, your trust is just as important.
Please remember to send the donation link to all your friends!
Thank you all!
FYI, links for reference:
Death Threats Against the Aleem Family:
Compass Direct News: "Islamist Lawyer Threatens to Kill Pakistani Charged with Blasphemy" - May 6, 2009
The Persecution Times: "Pakistani Muslim mob demands death for Christian activist accused of ‘blasphemy’" - January 31, 2009
Pakistan Christian Post: "Hector Aleem arrested under blasphemy" - January 27, 2009
ANS: "Christian human rights activist booked under Pakistan blasphemy laws" - January 26, 2009