02/26/2018, 16.16
PAKISTAN
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Christian jumps from fourth floor during the interrogation in Lahore. Activists ask for a fair trial (Video)

by Shafique Khokhar

Sajid Masih is in intensive care in serious condition. His 17-year-old cousin is the Christian man arrested for blasphemy. Police agents wanted to force him to perform oral sex on his relative. For activist, "The government should punish the agents involved".

Lahore (AsiaNews) – In Punjab, a Christian man jumped from the fourth floor of a police station to escape torture by agents during his interrogation. Sajid Masih, 24, is the cousin of Patras Masih, a 17-year-old man who was recently arrested on blasphemy charges in Shahdara.

Speaking to AsiaNews, Pakistani activists and representatives of civil society groups condemned the incident. The Cecil & Iris Chaudhry Foundation (CICF) expressed deep concern for the brutal treatment by the Cybercrime wing of the FIA (Federal Investigation Agency).

The tragic event occurred when both Christian men were in the FIA headquarters. The youngest of the two is accused of posting blasphemous photo on his Facebook account.

Reacting to the latter, Muslim radicals staged a protest in his village that lasted at least 12 hours. Fearing violence, at least 800 local Christian families fled their homes.

Sajid is now in the intensive care unit, in serious condition. From his hospital bed he explained the reason for his gesture. During the interrogation he says he was violently beaten by the police, who then forced him to insult his cousin Patras and tried to force to perform oral sex on his cousin.

When all his pleas proved futile, and the officials continued to insist that he do what they wanted, he was left with no other option but to jump out of the window from the fourth floor of the building.

“We are outraged, shocked and horrified by the alleged behaviour of the FIA Cybercrime Wing officials,” said CICF president Michelle Chaudhry. “We demand that this incident be investigated at the earliest and firm action be taken against the officials involved. These acts of brutality cannot be overlooked.”

For Ms Chaudry, “A fair trial is every citizen’s right regardless of faith, cast or gender; this kind of extreme hostility and inhuman behaviour during investigation is unacceptable and uncalled for and has to end. We demand that the Government look into this on priority and fulfill its responsibility to protect the life and dignity of every single Pakistani.” 

On twitter, Jibran Nasir, a well-known activist, also reacted. “Police has registered a suicide case against #SajidMasih. However, Sajid jumped from FIA building alleging he was trying to save himself from torture & sexual abuse as FIA officers were forcing him to perform oral sex on his cousin Patras whose [sic] accused of blasphemy”.

 “I totally condemn this behaviour of police officials which they performed with Sajid Masih, this is against humanity. I call upon the government and [the] chief justice of Pakistan to provide full security to [. . .] Sajid Masih, Patras Masih and their families.”

With respect to “Khalid Saeed, a person from [the] FIA, who is accused of sexual assault,” the  “government must refrain him from this case and he must be brought to fair investigation against this inhuman act”.

In light of the situation, the “Chief justice of Pakistan must [also] take suo moto action against Khadim Hussain Rizvi and his followers for taking [the] law in their [own] hands.” The latter belong to Tehrik-e-Labaik Ya Rasool whose protest sparked the flight of Christians from their village.

 

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