South Asia

Pakistani Christian maid killed for ‘not cleaning properly’

Photo Credit: www.claas.org.uk

A 17-year-old young woman from a Christian background who worked as a maid for a Muslim family was killed earlier this month (6 May 2018) “for not cleaning the house properly.”

Kainat Masih came from a poor Christian family in Gujranwala, Punjab and worked as a domestic for a local Muslim family.

On 6 May, Kainat’s father, Salamat, went to the house where she worked to meet her. Arriving around 2 pm, he witnessed Kainat’s employer and his wife, along with two other men and a woman, torturing her.

He later described to police how that they were holding down Kainat’s arms and legs and had tied a rope around her neck and were attempting to strangle her. Salamat begged them not to kill his daughter, but they ignored his pleas and Kainat was killed in front of him. According to Salamat, his daughter was murdered for supposedly not cleaning properly.

At the time of writing, Kainat’s murder is under investigation by police in Gujranwala, but no arrests have been made.

The majority of Pakistani Christians live in poverty, confined to menial jobs and are vulnerable to abuse and false accusation by their employers. In 2015, a Christian mother working in the house of a local Muslim family in Lahore was beaten by her employer and police officers, after denying accusations that she had stolen money and some gold. She was left with broken leg and hand, and her 20-year-old son was later taken away and beaten to death in police custody.