Centre for Legal Aid Assistance and Settlement (CLAAS)

HQ Location: 
London

Location of benefit: 
Worldwide (including UK)

CLAAS is a registered charity working on behalf of Christians in Pakistan and in the UK, and has helped to set free hundreds of innocent victims of religious persecution and has assisted many victimised families in a practical way in Pakistan.

1: CLAAS provides free legal aid and financial support to:
Victims of blasphemy laws
The victims of religious intolerance and persecution
2: CLAAS provides shelter and financial support to young girls and women who
are: vulnerable to abduction, rape, forced marriages and forced conversions to Islam.
3: CLAAS provides shelter and support to:
Families converted to Christianity
4: We advocacy and campaign at an international level for reforms to discriminatory laws which are the main causes of the discrimination and persecution of Christians and other religious minorities in Pakistan. We also provide free legal aid and financial support to the brick kiln workers and domestic servants.

Presently we are dealing with the cases of Martha Bibi who was imprisoned under a false accusation of blasphemy, Younis Masih, who has been imprisoned for the last 8 years and is presently on the death row for blasphemy, and the very famous case of Aasia Bibi, who is also on death row.

Centre for Legal Aid Assistance and Settlement (CLAAS) in the News

Italy urges Pakistan to drop Asia Bibi's death sentence

Italian Minister for Foreign Affairs Giulio Terzi has given instructions to its embassy in Islamabad to appeal to the Pakistani authorities on behalf of Asia Bibi.

Bibi, a Christian, has been held since 2009 and condemned to death on the charge of blasphemy.

According to a news release from Italy's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, this underscores the Italian government's expectation that the sentence would be revoked.

Sources at the foreign ministry said Terzi's intention was to add his voice to that of daily newspaper "Avvenire", which launched an appeal fully aligned with the efforts that Italy has been making since the start of the Asia Bibi issue.

The news release said that hopes for her immediate release have been expressed to the Pakistani authorities.

Terzi personally expressed the same wish in his meeting with Pakistani Foreign Minister Rabbani Khar during the NATO Summit in Chicago.

The news release said Italy has also been engaged in intense diplomatic efforts in support of Asia Bibi in Brussels within the framework of the strategic EU-Pakistan dialogue.

"The Nobel Peace Prize awarded to the EU," Terzi said in the news release, "in addition to being an outstanding sign of recognition, must also act as a strong incentive to the community institutions' ever-greater commitment to the defense of human rights and freedom of worship, indispensable preconditions for the peaceful co-existence of peoples."

Source: Christian Today