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Press Release

International Christian Voice Canada celebrated the 45th Birthday of Martyr Shahbaz Bhatti on Monday, September 9, 2013 at the Terry Miller Recreational Centre in Brampton.

The program started with the MC, Asher Khokhar, Secretary of ICV, welcoming all guests in attendance. Dr. Rev. Rashid Gill said the opening prayer and reflected on the life of Martyr Shahbaz Bhatti and his sacrifice to promote human rights and equality in Pakistan.

Mrs. Jacqueline Yousif and Mr. Yousif Nishan shared their memories with their brother and spoke of the precious moments they had with Shahbaz Bhatti on his birthday. Pastor Raj Dass also reflected on the life of Shahbaz Bhatti and spoke of his bravery and courageousness while fighting for religious freedom.
A tribute video created by Shahbaz Bhatti's niece, Nitasha Bhatti, was shown, highlighting his life's achievements. Mr. Javed Iqbal, a famous poet of the community, reflected on Shahbaz Bhatti's life through his poetry. Mr. Asher Habib and Mr. Jim Walker spoke of the inspiration they received from Martyr Shahbaz Bhatti and remembered his many achievements.
Mr. Tanveer Joseph, Vice Chairman (community Affairs) of ICV, shared his personal memories with Shahbaz Bhatti and spoke of the encouragement and motivation he received through their meetings. The newly arrived family of Rimsha Masih also participated in the event and paid tribute to Martyr Shahbaz Bhatti while thanking ICV and Canadian government for their continued support. ICV executive members Mr. Tanveer Joseph, Mr. Naeem Akther, Mr. Asher Khokhar, Rev. Dr. Rashid Gill, Mr. Max Gill, Mrs. Eliza Charles, Mr. George Ghulam, Mr. Qamar Andreas, Mrs. Basanti Massey and Mr. Dilawar Pelwan all recommitted to continue the legacy of Martyr Shahbaz Bhatti. 
ICV Chairman Peter Bhatti gave a briefing on the reasons religious minorities have been marginalized throughout history through undemocratic forces and military dictatorships. He said Shahbaz Bhatti, from his childhood, stood against this discrimination and wanted to bring equality to all citizens of Pakistan regardless of caste, creed or religion. He also recommitted to carry the responsibilities and legacy of Martyr Shahbaz Bhatti to fulfill his mission along with his team. The scholarships given to five deserving students in Pakistan through the Shahbaz Bhattilegacy fund were announced by Mr. Bhatti shortly thereafter.
Honorable M.P Joe Daniel, who was the chief guest of the event, shared his thoughts and stressed for the community to continue the legacy of Shahbaz Bhatti and appreciated the efforts of ICV in promoting human rights and religious freedom.
Many organization leaders, church leaders and community members also participated in the event and celebreated the life of Martyr Shahbaz Bhatti. Pastor Samuel Gori said the closing prayer after sharing his thoughts and encouraged the members of ICV to continue their struggle while assuring his support. The event ended with a cake cutting ceremony by the ICV executive members and MP Joe Daniel.
 

Exclusive footage of Shahbaz Bhatti\'s interview

Pakistani Christian Asylum Seeker Dies in IDC, Bangkok, Thailand

International Christian Voice (ICV) is very saddened to learn that 36-year-old Pakistani Christian asylum seeker Mr. Ijaz Paras Masih has died in Bangkok, Thailand while in an Immigration Detention Centre. He had been facing serious health concerns for many months and succumbed to his illness on May 26, 2017 due to a lack of medical treatment.

In the IDC, his health deteriorated substantially. His first heart attack occurred last year and he had become paralyzed since. He repeatedly requested Thai officials in the IDC to provide him with the appropriate medical treatment but it was not provided to him, ultimately leading  to  his death. Ijaz Masih is sadly not the first Pakistani Christian who has died inside a detention centre due to the negligence of Thai Authorities and local UNHCR officials. Many other individuals and families continue to suffer from the maltreatment and inhumane conditions inside Thai IDCs.

   Ijaz Paras Masih

 

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Backgrounder - Diefenbaker Award and Recipients Shahbaz Bhatti

Shahbaz Bhatti was elected to the National Assembly of Pakistan in 2008 and named Federal Minister for Minorities a portfolio he accepted because of the opportunity it offered to defend the oppressed and marginalized of Pakistan.

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