08/10/2007, 00.00
PAKISTAN
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After years of torture at the hands of his Muslim landlord, he quits and is murdered

by Qaiser Felix
Punjab: after 10 years of work for a landlord who beat him and his family, Sadiq Masih quits; but his employer is unforgiving. The victim’s lawyer warns: Sadiq’s assassins are now threatening his entire family and those who help organise his funeral.

Lahore (AsiaNews) – Two men were arrested, on August 7 for shooting dead a Christian from Rani Ke Minar village in Sheikhupura district in the Punjab province of Pakistan. Both of the suspects are Muslim.  Speaking to AsiaNews Aneeka Maria, lawyer for the victims family warns: “Sadiq Masih, 45, was murdered on July 30 by some land lords.  The post-mortem has proved that he died because of bullets wounds”.

 

Aneeka Maria works for the Centre for Legal Aid, Assistance and Settlement of Lahore (CLAAS); she visited the village the day after the murder, where Masih and his family served the land lord for ten years but one year ago gave up working for him because of his cruel behaviour towards Christians. But the torture continued and the landlord, known as Chaudhri, unjustly dragged Masih’s two children - Khalid (14) and Basharat (17) – into a homicide case, set up by the same local landlords.  Currently the two children are being held in prison.

 

Thus Aneeka Maria recounts,  Masih refused to return to work.  Chaudhri’s family responded with a series of death threats which Masih never took seriously. But in the late afternoon of July 30th, the Chaudrhi’s erupted into his home and shot him.  During the attacks Mashi’s eldest son was seriously wounded and is currently in hospital.  The boy’s life is still in danger: the Chaudhris seek to kill him, because he reported them to the police and is an eye witness in the case.   The entire village is now being pressed by these cruel land lords: the Chaudhri have threatened to kill anyone who helps the Masih family to organise the funeral.  So much so that CLAAS has been forced to provide security to the villagers of Rani Ke Minar.

 

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