30 June 2016
AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook
Geographic areas




  • > Africa
  • > Central Asia
  • > Europe
  • > Middle East
  • > Nord America
  • > North Asia
  • > South Asia
  •    - Afghanistan
  •    - Bangladesh
  •    - Bhutan
  •    - India
  •    - Nepal
  •    - Pakistan
  •    - Sri Lanka
  • > South East Asia
  • > South West Asia
  • > Sud America
  • > East Asia

  • mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato


    » 09/16/2009, 00.00

    PAKISTAN

    Sialkot: police charges crowd at funeral for young man killed in prison for blasphemy

    Fareed Khan

    Police attack mourners during the burial ceremony. Witnesses say police used tear gas against the crowd, injuring some and arresting others. Police claims it had to move in to prevent “further disturbances”. Catholic leaders renew call for the repeal of the blasphemy laws.
    Lahore (AsiaNews) – Police used tear gas and charged mourners who had gathered for the funeral of Fanish Masih, the 20-year-old Christian man who was killed in prison during the night of 14 and 15 September. Police justified their action by saying that they wanted to prevent further disturbances during the burial of the young man who died in jail from injuries caused by his jailers.

    Nadeem Anthony, a member of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP), told AsiaNews that Fanish was buried today in a Catholic cemetery in Sialkot. Hundreds of mourners took part in the ceremony.

    Using tear gas, police attacked people present and arrested a number of Christians, the activist said. Many were injured and that the situation went from bad to worse. After news channels began reporting what was happening, several civil society groups staged protests in Lahore.

    Tensions remained high throughout yesterday. The young man’s family protested; they placed his body in a central street of the town, and demanded that the police officers responsible for his death be arrested.

    Local sources report that 13 stores and a number of cars were damaged during the protest, which ended only when senior police officers assured the demonstrators that justice would be done.

    The National Commission for Justice and Peace (NCJP) of the Catholic Church of Pakistan has firmly condemned the “killing of Fanish in custody.”

    In a tough statement, Mgr Lawrence John Saldanha and Peter Jacob, respectively chairman and executive secretary of the NCJP, said they “refuse to accept the version of local authorities that he committed suicide spontaneously after he was shifted to jail from police lock up.”

    Sialkot’s District Police Officer Waqar Ahmad Chohan had earlier stated that the deceased, who had been accused of insulting the Qur‘an, had committed suicide in jail.

    In reality, local Muslims did not like the idea that the young man could have a relationship with Hina Asghar, a young Muslim woman, whose mother is said to have witnessed the act of blasphemy.

    Catholic leaders have called for “a credible investigation” into what they consider a, evident case of “murder”. Those “responsible for the death of [an] innocent youth, directly or indirectly, should be brought to justice”, Mgrs Saldanha and Jacob said.

    Yesterday, the Punjab Minority Affairs Minister Kamran Michael said that the police did not handle the case properly. “I have seen the body and there were torture marks on it,” he said.

    A number of people have publicly slammed the brutal murder of the young Christian man, who is the latest victim of religious persecution under the banner of the blasphemy law.

    “This is death in custody and the police authorities are responsible,” said HRCP Chairwoman Asma Jahangir.

    In their statement, Catholic leaders have called on all sections of Pakistani society to realise how dangerous the blasphemy laws are. “For religious minorities these laws have proven to be a catastrophe which can surface anytime, anywhere,” Mgr Saldanha and Peter Jacob noted.

    “We consider this a failure on the part of the provincial government of Punjab and the federal government,” they said. Instead of focusing on “prevention”, the two levels of government opted for an “administration and rehabilitation approach” to the problem.

    For the NCJP, the government should simply repeal the blasphemy sections in the Pakistan Penal Code.

    The Catholic community is holding two days of mourning for the young man killed in prison.

    e-mail this to a friend Printable version










    See also

    29/10/2009 PAKISTAN
    Blasphemy law: a long list of injustices (An overview)
    Under Sections 295 B and 205-C of the Pakistan Penal Code, anyone who desecrates the Qur‘an or defiles the name of the prophet Muhammad is punished with death or life imprisonment. Implemented in 1986 by then dictator, General Zia-ul-Haq, to woo the country’s fundamentalist faction, the laws have become a tool to persecute religious minorities and even Muslims. Almost a thousand people have been charged so far under the law, and hundreds have become its victims.

    17/09/2009 PAKISTAN
    Collusion between police and extremists cause of deaths in judicial custody, Pakistani NGO says
    A human rights group expresses concern over “increasing incidents of violence” against religious minorities. Fanatics enjoy impunity thanks to complicitous prison guards. The government is blamed for not prosecuting people responsible for such crimes. Police has not yet registered a first information report on the murder of a 20-year-old Christian man in Sialkot prison.

    11/01/2006 PAKISTAN
    Blasphemy charge against Sangla Hill Christian withdrawn

    The main accuser admitted that he had made the charge on the basis of "mere suspicion". A reconciliation document has been signed by Christians and Muslims.



    30/08/2012 PAKISTAN
    For Islamists, no "sympathy" for Rimsha Masih who must be judged "according to the law"
    A Muslim legal expert says it is wrong to "take sides" for the girl who must be punished if she is guilty. "Let us pray for Rimsha and her family," says Islamabad bishop. The government should use the case as "an example" and take the "right measures" to stop abuses, he adds. Fears remain for the fate of 600 Christian families that fled their homes.

    18/04/2011 PAKISTAN
    Accused of blasphemy, Arif Masih is now free, as fresh anti-Christian attacks go on in Gujranwala
    Thanks to the action of the Masihi Foundation, which collected 50 affidavits from mostly Muslim witnesses, the 40-year-old christian man is now free. However, he is now living under protection with his family fearing new attacks. Yesterday, a mob of extremists interrupts Palm Sunday services in Gujranwala. Police respond by arresting Christians.



    Editor's choices

    CHINA - VATICAN
    Vatican silence over Shanghai’s Mgr Ma Daqin causing confusion and controversy

    Bernardo Cervellera

    For some, Mgr Ma’s blog post praising the Patriotic Association and acknowledging his mistakes is nothing but “dirt”. For others, he chose humiliation for the “sake of his diocese”. Many wonder why the Holy See has remained silent about the article’s content and the bishop’s persecution. Some suspect the Vatican views the episode in positive terms. Yet, the Ma Daqin affair raises a major question. Has Benedict XVI’s Letter to Chinese Catholics (which describes the Patriotic Association as “incompatible with Catholic doctrine”) been abolished? If it has, who did it? A journey of compromises without truth is full of risks.


    CHINA – VATICAN
    Mgr Ma Daqin: the text of his “confession”

    Mons. Taddeo Ma Daqin

    Four years after quitting the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association, the bishop of Shanghai “admits” his faults on his blog, praising the organisation that controls the Church. We publish his article, almost in its entirety. Translation by AsiaNews.


    AsiaNews IS ALSO A MONTHLY!

    AsiaNews monthly magazine (in Italian) is free.
     

    SUBSCRIBE NOW

    News feed

    Canale RSScanale RSS 

    Add to Google









     

    IRAN 2016 Banner

    2003 © All rights reserved - AsiaNews C.F. e P.Iva: 00889190153 - GLACOM®