An international human rights organization condemned what it described as a “false blasphemy allegation” raised against a Christian nurse in Pakistan last week.
“In Pakistan, blasphemy allegations forever ruin the lives of the accused, even if proved to be false,” said William Stark, regional manager of the group International Christian Concern.
Stark called on Pakistani authorities to “thoroughly and fairly” investigate the allegations leveled against 42-year-old Tabitha Nazir Gill, a nurse at the Sobhraj Maternity Hospital in Karachi.
Gill was accused by a Muslim coworker after a personal dispute over receiving cash tips from patients.
The issue started after Gill reportedly reminded a Muslim coworker of the prohibition to collect money from a patient.
In response, the Muslim coworker accused Gill of committing blasphemy. Video of hospital staff beating Gill surfaced on social media.
The nurse was reportedly tied up with rope, tortured, and locked in a room before being taken into police custody. The police later released Gill to her family after no evidence of her committing blasphemy eventuated.
Watch a video featuring some of the footage of what occurred to the nurse.
Gill and her family have since moved to an unknown location fearing vigilante violence.
Authorities have provided protection to the victim and tried to resolve the issue, but hundreds of Muslims gathered at a local police station to force the police to register a complaint against Gill.
In Pakistan, false accusations of blasphemy are widespread and often motivated by personal vendettas or religious hatred, read a statement from International Christian Concern.
It said accusations are highly inflammatory and have the potential to spark mob lynchings, vigilante murders, and mass protests.
Since Pakistan added Section 295-B and 295-C to the country’s blasphemy laws in 1987, the number of blasphemy accusations have skyrocketed.
With Christians only making up 1.6 percent of Pakistan’s total population, the 238 accusations made against Christians is highly disproportionate, said International Christian Concern.