Bhatti Elegy How the best are fallen before the worst The bravest lion before the contemptible cowardly dogs, The snakes who lurk with malice The music of his blood ascends with his soul to heaven Like incense to the throne of God Rise up, O blood, build a strong house of flesh and bone Where… Read more »
Human Rights – Pakistan
Nathanael got into human rights work almost by accident in about 2010, and it has rapidly expanded to take up quite a large part of his time. It started out with music. He was moved to do several charity concerts to try and raise funds for Christian victims of the devastating 2010 summer floods in Pakistan, since he had learned that Christians were being discriminated against and denied emergency aid. He was looking for someone to send the aid to and found the newly formed British Pakistani Christian Association (BPCA), and after contacting them has been, as he puts it, ‘sucked in by osmosis’.
Initially he started writing for the BPCA‘s blog under a pseudonym, and such was his writing skills that he was frequently called upon for help in events organization, and other writing tasks, including press releases, leaflets highlighting the plight of Pakistani Christians, and then on to writing for project funding applications, submissions for the UN’s periodic Universal rights review for Pakistan, and other research, including answers to journalists questions, appeal material, and a requested submission for Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Bureau, material that later ended up in both Canada’s and the UK Home Office’s official ‘Country of Origin’ report for background when considering Pakistani Christian asylum seeker’s claims. He has also written a number of country expert reports for solicitors handling appeals for Pakistani Christians who had their asylum claims rejected. These have contributed to a thus far (May 2015) 100% success rate in appeals where the BPCA has been involved, likely saving the lives of a number of vulnerable Christians, a success rate that a Home Office official has (off the record) intimated is pretty much unprecedented and very impressive. Several of Nathanael’s reports have won praise from the solicitors involved, and at least one judge has strongly cited his work in overturning previous decisions. He is also involved a little in wider efforts to improve the receptivity of Western nations to Christian refugees fleeing persecution.
He has also drafted several Early Day Motions for UK MP’s, as well as having a hand in drafting a declaration / resolution that was simultaneously used in the US Congress and the Canadian, Italian, Indian, and UK Parliaments, plus one other (he forgets, it was likely either the Irish or the Australian). In addition, he has written a key report that was submitted to Dutch politicians and Government ministers that contributed to them giving special status to Pakistani Christian refugees to make it easier for them to obtain safety in Holland. He was also a major co-author and co-editor of the BPCA‘s first seminal report, ‘The Targeting of Minority Others in Pakistan’. He wrote the section on the plight of Christians in Pakistan, constituting about a third of the whole. Writing alongside a genocide expert, an imam, and activists and researchers from a wide range of religious and ethnic minorities in Pakistan, this report was designed to be a resource for politicians, government officials, journalists, academics and other charity and human rights workers, and indeed several other NGO’s and charities have made use of its material. Harrowing to read, and even more harrowing to right, it remains a monumental landmark to the suffering of millions in Pakistan.
If you would like Nathanael to speak, either on his own behalf, or in his role as a BPCA researcher, please feel free to contact him, or via the BPCA. Nathanael would be especially interested in combining talking on the horrific situation in Pakistan with lighter musical offerings as a contemplative counterpoint, with his piano music widely reported as engendering serenity and peace.
Anyone who wants Nathanael as an expert witness in asylum appeals cases should contact the BPCA in the first instance.