30 July, 2014 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
VATICAN
"Stop! I am asking you with all my heart. Stop!" says pope as he speaks out on the Middle East, Iraq and Ukraine He mentions children, victims of war, "from whom we take away the hope for a decent life," urging the parties to address "every diatribe with the tenacity of dialogue and negotiation and the power of reconciliation". As tomorrow marks 100 years since the outbreak of the First World War, "a day of mourning," we should learn the lessons of history. The Gospel makes us know the true Jesus, the living Jesus, who speaks to the heart and is a life changer as he was for Saint Francis of Assisi. "The joy of finding the treasure of the Kingdom of God comes through, can be seen. Christians cannot hide their faith."
IRAQ - VATICAN
Saddened by "the timidity of the civilised world," Baghdad patriarch's heart bleeding "for the innocent in Iraq, Syria and Gaza" "Forget us not!" says Mar Louis Sako in a message to Card Barbarin on the occasion of the march of solidarity with Iraqi Christians, held today in Lyon.
VATICAN
Pope: I am with the persecuted Christians of Mosul and the Middle East "May the God of peace inspire in all a genuine desire for dialogue and reconciliation. Violence is never defeated with violence. Violence is defeated with peace." At the Sunday Angelus Francis comments on the parable of the wheat and the weeds. God is "patient" He knows "the same weeds in the end, may become good wheat". But "at the time of the harvest, that is, of judgment, the reapers will execute the order of the master separating the weeds to be burned".

Dossier
by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
by Lazzarotto Angelo S.
pp. 528
by Bernardo Cervellera
pp. 240
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.