03/28/2007, 00.00
PAKISTAN
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Muslims torture for hours Christian “blasphemer” now in jail

by Qaiser Felix
A mob of some 150 Muslims in Punjab stormed the home of Amanat Masih, a Protestant charged with burning some pages of the Qur’an. Police intervene after hours of torture and arrest him.

Lahore (AsiaNews) – A Christian man in Pakistan’s Punjab province was attacked on March 23 by a mob of some 150 Muslims. He was beaten and tortured for allegedly desecrating the Qur’an. The attack ended when police arrested the alleged blasphemer charging him under Section 295 B of Pakistan’s Penal Code, the so-called Blasphemy law, which could mean life in prison for him.  By contrast, his attackers were not charged.

According to a news release of ‘Sharing Life Ministry,’ a Protestant organisation, the 50-year-old Amanat Masih was accused of tearing and burning some pages from the Qur’an. A mob then descended upon his house, stormed the place, caught the alleged blasphemer, dragged him out into the streets, and tortured him.

Amanat Masih’s wife, Zohera Bibi, also complained that “Muslims grabbed 50,000 rupees (US$ 825, € 620) which I had saved for my daughter’s wedding.”

According to the report filed with the police, Masih confessed to burning the pages of the Qur’an on the advice of Liaqat Ali, a Muslim ‘faith healer,’ who was arrested.

Currently, both men are in jail at Sheikhupura District Prison.

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