Christian boy accused of sending blasphemous texts still in hiding

Published: November 16, 2012

Boy’s mother, Rubina Bryan, was fired by SSGC last month. PHOTO: FILE

KARACHI: Clerics living in the vicinity where a teenage boy was accused of blasphemy last month are pressuring police to capture him or face a series of protests outside the station.

Mobina Town police station investigation officer Mohammad Baksh told The Express Tribune that law enforcers have been unable to trace the boy so far. No case has been registered against the protesters because they have been peaceful, added Baksh.

The boy, 16-year-old Ryan Stanten, has been accused of sending blasphemous text messages to friends and relatives in the Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) staff colony near University Road on October 9. SSGC issued suspension letters for Ryan’s mother, Rubina Byran, who worked as a superintendent at the gas company’s store department. Fearing for their lives, Rubina fled from her house inside the staff colony along with Ryan and her physically challenged husband.

An enraged mob later broke into the family’s home, took out furniture and appliances, and then burnt them in broad daylight. Ryan was nominated in an FIR under section 295-C of the Pakistan Penal Code. “Nearly five small demonstrations have been organised outside the police station, where people demanded that the boy be arrested,” said Baksh.

Christian activist Zahid Farooq said that the boy and his family were safe, but were also terrified to come back to their house and face the charges. “They don’t want to leave the country, but they don’t seem to have another choice. They can’t come back as [Rubina] was fired even before the accusations were proved.”

Even if they come back, who would stop violent protesters from killing them, asked Farooq. He added that Ryan did not send the controversial text messages, and that his friends had his used his cell phone without his permission.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 16th, 2012.

on Twitter, become a fan on Facebook

Reader Comments (8)

  • Human
    Nov 16, 2012 - 10:40AM

    Why is the govt not helping them ?
    no one is stupid or mad to send texts once again this is misusing the Mad made law .
    Do away with this law as its destroying lives , now where is United nations ?
    where are all the Human rights orgs ?Recommend

  • Deed
    Nov 16, 2012 - 12:07PM

    Tribune should provide shelter, food, water, education, healthcare to the accused boy ! afterall it is a self proclaimed shameless torch bearer against the blasphemy law in Pakistan !Recommend

  • Anonymous
    Nov 16, 2012 - 6:41PM

    I live in SSGC colony and really believe me I am not a religious fanatic, this boy did send those text messages. He himself accepted that he forwarded those texts without knowing what they meant. The suspicious thing is that he sent those messages not only to his friends and people of his age group, but also to important people of the colony (all the grown ups). I don’t want to imply that he did it for a foreign visa, but that’s what it seems to an observer who has seen this case unfold very closely.

    Recommend

  • Appalled
    Nov 16, 2012 - 7:19PM

    @Anonymous:
    I live in SSGC colony and really believe me I am not a religious fanatic, this boy did send those text messages. He himself accepted that he forwarded those texts without knowing what they meant. The suspicious thing is that he sent those messages not only to his friends and people of his age group, but also to important people of the colony (all the grown ups). I don’t want to imply that he did it for a foreign visa, but that’s what it seems to an observer who has seen this case unfold very closely

    You really think he would risk his entire families lives for a ‘foreign visa’ which he has no guarantee of getting? Also, the likelihood of him admitting to it, and then running away to hide and assuming he won’t get caught before he gets whisked away by some foreign entity are slim to none.

    As an observer, it is also very un-islamic of you to run on assumptions – you have no proof of his guilt or innocence. To assume and possibly unpurposefully so, that he could be doing this for a foreign visa is irresponsible and I hope you will see that.

    Put yourself in his shoes and imagine that you’re innocent – how would someone else’s ‘harm-less’ assumption that makes you seem guilty make you feel?

    I’m appalled. At people, at the law created and implemented by them and at the complete disrespect for basic human life and humanity. God and his Prophets don’t need anyone to battle to protect their names; just spending more time being a better person, a better human would be a good start.

    Recommend

  • Human2
    Nov 16, 2012 - 8:35PM

    what a pity,,,
    just accused, not proved.

    Recommend

  • JoelB
    Nov 16, 2012 - 11:12PM

    The government will not help because it is held in the sway of the Islamists.

    Recommend

  • Elena
    Nov 17, 2012 - 6:36AM

    @Human:
    Only muslim males have human rights acc’ding to their theology. No one is going to help them at all. They will have to escape back fm whence they came on their own.

    Recommend

  • Rani
    Dec 13, 2012 - 2:25PM

    Im wondering! Why always Christians break this blasphemy law? I’ve never heard of any Hindu committing blasphemy. By th way, what is th point of forwarding such messages?

    Recommend

More in Pakistan