The Organization for Legal Aid in Pakistan successfully petitioned at the end of May to have Mumtaz Masih recovered from unlawful detention by his Muslim employer, who had forced him into bonded labour.
Originally, Masih borrowed 200,000 Pakistani rupees (roughly £1,400) from a local Muslim in July 2013. In exchange, Masih had to take care of his farms and animals. As part of the agreement, Masih was required to remain on his employer’s property at all times except once a month when he would receive payment and could go home to visit his family. In July 2014 the employer stopped paying Masih, banned him from home visiting, and effectively turned him into a slave.
Masih’s wife, Alishba Bibi, became concerned about her husband’s absence and sought help. After a habeas corpus court case on 29 May, a court official was directed to find Masih, who was found on his master’s property in a locked room where he had been held for the last three days.
Although bonded labour is illegal in Pakistan, many poor Christians live and work in similar situations.