28 April, 2015 AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook            

Help AsiaNews | About us | P.I.M.E. | | RssNewsletter | Mobile






mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato
e-mail this to a friend printable version


» 04/27/2007
PAKISTAN
Mob and police torture Catholic man accused of blasphemy
by Qaiser Felix
Without any evidence angry Muslims torture Sattar Masih, 28, for allegedly blaspheming against Muhammad. Police moves in but only to arrest him. He was supposed to get married the following day.

Kotri (AsiaNews) – A mob of Muslims tortured a Catholic man on April 13 in Kotri, Sindh province, accusing him of writing blasphemous words against Muhammad. When the Police intervened, it arrested the tortured man. In prison he was tortured again in order to get him to “confess.” According to the All Pakistan Minorities Alliance (APMA), Sattar Masih, a 28-year-old Catholic man, was arrested by police despite the lack of evidence, put in jail and tortured to get his confession. He was supposed to get married the following day.

Instead, Maulana Mohammad Umer, imam at a local mosque, filed a complaint against Mr Masih under Section 295–A and 295–C (commonly known as the blasphemy law) of the Pakistan Penal Code. Penalties include the death sentence for anyone who offends Islam’s prophet and sacred texts.

The Police also arrested Sattar Masih’s 60-year-old uncle, Mushtaq Masih, and his son, who was later released. Mushtaq Masih, who is employed as a sweeper by the municipal administration, is still in the lock up in the same police station for investigation but was suspended from his job because of his arrest under suspicion of blasphemy.

In piecing together the events that led to the arrest of the two Masih, APMA found that it all started when a group of Muslim men came to Sattar Masih’s house with a piece of paper that had Masih’s picture on it and blasphemous words written against Muhammad in the Urdu language. Although Sattar Masih rejected the allegations, his accusers did not believe him but still they went away.

Later that day Imam Mulana Umer announced during Friday prayers that the mosque had found a sacrilegious paper against the prophet Muhammad in the donation box. The imam then showed the paper to worshippers with Sattar Masih’s photo and address.

Many Muslim worshippers were enraged and marched on Sattar Masih’s house, stormed it and tried to kill him. But before they could act the Kotri police intervened and took Sattar into custody. In jail he was charged with blasphemy and tortured.

APMA chairman Shahbaz Bhatti slammed the police for acting without evidence and before conducting a full investigation into the affair.

“How could any sensible person write those words against the prophet and then leave name and photo, when he knows that punishment of such an act is death,” Mr Bhatti told AsiaNews.

In reality, “Christians and other religious minorities are being subjected to false accusations under the blasphemy law,” he explained. “Often they are murdered in extra judicial killings or languish in prison for years. Victims’ families are forced out of their homes as a result of threats, harassment and a sense of insecurity.” The situation is such that “religious extremists take the law in their own hands and don’t even wait for the courts’ decisions.”


e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
11/27/2006 PAKISTAN
Two Christian men sentenced to ten years in prison for "blasphemy"
by Qaiser Felix
10/13/2008 PAKISTAN
A Christian man and his daughter arrested, almost lynched for blasphemy
by Qaiser Felix
08/10/2005 PAKISTAN
Christian charged with blasphemy released
by Qaiser Felix
01/26/2007 PAKISTAN
Another Christian imprisoned for “blasphemy”
by Qaiser Felix
05/20/2008 PAKISTAN
New “blasphemy” case, Catholic lawmaker against government
by Qaiser Felix

Editor's choices
NEPAL – ASIA
Nepal earthquake: Church and international community coming to the aid of survivorsThe Italian Bishops’ Conference has pledged € 3 million in emergency medical assistance. The South Korean Church has allocated funds for the displaced. India, Pakistan and China are already on the ground. A Chinese airline has hiked ticket fares to evacuate its nationals. Israel is selective in its help, airlifting 25 children of surrogate mothers and gay couples.
VATICAN
Pope prays for Nepal quake victims, hopes they receive "fraternal solidarity"A good shepherd is like Christ, someone who “is a guide, who participates in the life of His flock. He pursues no other interests, for He has no other ambition but to lead, nurture and protect his sheep. All of this comes at the highest price, that of the sacrifice of His own life.” When the pope met the crowd at the window of his study, two new priests stood by his side.
VATICAN
Pope remembers and prays for "latest tragedy" of migrants, "our brothers and sisters" who "are seeking happiness"At the Regina Caeli, Pope Francis says he is praying for the hundreds of victims in a sinking off the coast of Libya. An appeal to the international community to "act decisively and promptly." "Every baptized person is called to witness in word and deed, that Jesus is risen, He is alive and present in our midst." The Christian message "is not a theory, an ideology or a complex system of precepts and prohibitions, or moralism, but a message of salvation, a concrete event, even a person: the Risen Christ, the living and only Savior of all" . The Pope will be in Turin on June 21 to honor the Shroud, the exposition of which begins today.

Dossier

by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
Copyright © 2003 AsiaNews C.F. 00889190153 All rights reserved. Content on this site is made available for personal, non-commercial use only. You may not reproduce, republish, sell or otherwise distribute the content or any modified or altered versions of it without the express written permission of the editor. Photos on AsiaNews.it are largely taken from the internet and thus considered to be in the public domain. Anyone contrary to their publication need only contact the editorial office which will immediately proceed to remove the photos.