1 December, 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

» 09/20/2004
Police brutality against Christians must be addressed at a political level
by Qaiser Felix

Another youth tortured to death. Demonstrators hurt.

Lahore (AsiaNews) –The rising number of deaths related to police brutality, especially among young Christians, must be addressed at a political level, Peter Jacob, Secretary of the Justice and Peace Commission, told AsiaNews. Speaking after the incidents that followed the death of Nasir Masih, a young Christian tortured to death, Jacob points the finger at the police and religious intolerance.

Nasir Masih, 21, son of Mukhtar Masih and resident in Sheikhupura (35 km from Lahore, Punjab province) is the second young Christian who died in police custody in Pakistan of torture-induced injuries. He is also the third young Christian killed since the beginning of the year. He was arrested on August 16, falsely accused of theft and died three days later. His body had wounds in 12 different places.

According to his father, Nasir had gone to see a friend around 5:30 pm. A few hours later, around 1 am at night, the police informed the family that he had been arrested, allegedly for theft. At that moment in time, he was at the DHQ hospital and could receive family visits.

"When we got to the hospital, my son was in really bad conditions because of the torture he was subjected to," Mukhtar said, "He told me that the police had brutally beaten him." After the medical examination he was taken back to the police station.

Two days later on August 19, Nasir's father went to the station with an attorney to ask for his son's release on bail. However, instead of taking the young man to court for a bail hearing the police took him to Sheikhupura Civic Hospital where he died of his injuries.

On August 20, Nasir's father made a formal complaint against the police accusing them of having tortured his son to death. Hundreds of local Christians, including women, took to the streets to protest the police's refusal to charge the officers accused of the murder. Protesters blocked the Siekhupura-Lahore road. The police tried to disperse the crowd by charging the demonstrators, using tear gas and firing warning shots in the air. Several people were injured. About 20 Christians were arrested and charged with various penal code violations, including violations of the country's anti-terrorism laws.

Ten people are accused with Nasir's torture and death. Among them six policemen under the command of district police officer Shahid Iqbal. No one has yet to be arrested for the crime. Instead, police warned local Christians, in particular Haroon Fateh Jang, the lawyer representing Nasir Masih's family, not to pursue the case against them. According to Peter Jacob the first step in the pursuit of justice is to have charges against the protesters dismissed.

Nasir's killing follows those in May of Samuel Masih and Javed Anjum. Samuel Masih, charged under Pakistan's blasphemy laws, was killed by a police constable whilst in a Lahore hospital for treatment against tuberculosis. Javed Anjum was instead tortured to death by Islamic extremists in the Jamia Hassan Bin Murtaza Islamic School (madrassah) in Punjab province.

e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
11/03/2004 PAKISTAN
Blasphemy law: death threats against teenage girl forces family to flee
02/16/2010 PAKISTAN
Christians outraged in Lahore over release of young domestic worker’s murderer
by Fareed Khan
06/08/2006 PAKISTAN
Two Christians accused of blasphemy released
by Qaiser Felix
03/23/2005 PAKISTAN
Religion back in passports
08/11/2009 PAKISTAN
Some 20 million Christians to mark ‘black day’ against persecution in Pakistan
by Fareed Khan

Editor's choices
Paris Massacre highlights the failure of Muslim integration in Europe
by Catherine FieldThe attack in the heart of France highlights the crisis of Europe’s model of coexistence. Social unrest, poverty and marginalisation feed youth extremism and radicalisation. A New Zealander journalist, expert on expertise in religion and interfaith dialogue, talks about it after undertaking a journey through the French Muslim world.
For Nîmes imam, Islam should not be held hostage by extremists
by Hochine DrouicheFrench imams condemn the Paris terrorist attacks and disassociate themselves from violence committed in "the name of our religion." At the same time, they ask Muslim communities to dare leading a life of dialogue and friendship with Europeans, without fear or arrogance. For centuries, Muslims have ruled out reason from their religious life. The vice president of French imams bears witness.
AsiaNews marks 12 years: Persecution and hope
by Bernardo CervelleraDespite a worldwide increase of ignorance, indifference and superficiality, many signs of love and hope resist even in the most gloomy situations: the Iraqi mother who gives birth to her child in a refugee camp and smiles even though she has nothing; the Indonesian Muslim mother who blesses her son who became a Christian and a priest; the Chinese Christian families that welcome children thrown away because of the one-child law.


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.