Holy Christ Ministry case

Holy Christ Ministry case

Concerning B.R. and M.G., wife and husband, both nationals of Pakistan, are submitting the communication on their own behalf and on behalf of their three minor children, vs Denmark for violation of Articles 6, 7 and 13 of CCPR.
The authors are Christians by faith. M.G. has been politically active and a was a member of the All Pakistan Minorities Alliance, founded by Shahbaz Bhatti in Pakistan, until Mr. Bhatti was killed. M.G. was also president of the Holy Christ Ministries of Pakistan.
A.D., an imam, approached M.G. during a convention in Lahore of the All Pakistan Minorities Alliance and advised him to stop proselytizing. Since the author refused, A.D. reported him to the police for missionary work. The author was also accused of speaking disparagingly of the Prophet Muhammad. The authorities brought charges with section 295C of the Pakistan Penal Code. The imam and his supporters attempted to shoot M.G. in a grocery store. After the shooting incident, the authors decided to flee Pakistan with their three children. They arrived in Denmark in 2012.

The Danish Immigration Service refused to grant residence permits to the authors and their children. The Refugee Appeals Board refused the authors’ claim for refugee status owing to a perceived lack of their credibility about the key accounts, including about their escape from home, the shooting and the way in which they became aware of the first information report and the arrest warrant issued by the Pakistani police. Consequently, the Board could not assume that the police report and arrest warrant were authentic. The authors’ explanations were considered not to have been substantiated. The Board also did not believe that the general situation of Christians in Pakistan could justify the granting of asylum.

The authors submitted the communication to the CCPR, stating that the fact that they are Christians and have previously been persecuted and accused of a crime that is subject to the death penalty in Pakistan (speaking disparagingly of the Prophet Muhammad), and the fact that M.G. had had a conflict with an imam, mean that they would be put at risk of persecution, in violation of articles 6 and 7 of the Covenant, if returned to Pakistan. The authors further submit that their return to Pakistan would violate their rights under article 18 of the Covenant, since they would have to hide their religious beliefs.

In September 2023 CCPR considered the communication and decided that the claims have not been substantiated in any way and are inadmissible. The communication by B.R. in relation to her and her children is discontinued, as it has been withdrawn by the author because they have been granted residence permits in Denmark.

5. January 2024

CCPR 2342/2014
  • Decision: 5 September 2023
  • Comm: Human Rights