09/21/2020, 15.23
PAKISTAN
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Waqar Masih, Christian and inconvenient witness: the police killed his father and another young Christian

by Shafique Khokhar

The 25-year-old was arrested for possession and sale of drugs. In reality, the police want to eliminate him because he witnessed two murders committed by a group of policemen. The perpetrators of the killers also tried to bribe him by offering him a large sum. The Human Rights Focus Pakistan organization is defending it.

Toba Tek Singh (AsiaNews) - Waqar Masih, 25 (photo 1), is a Christian from a poor background who is in prison accused of selling drugs. But the charges are false. In reality he was framed by the police because he is asking for justice for his father, Younas Masih, 48 (photo 2), killed by some policemen a few months ago, and because Waqar is a witness to the murder, also by policemen, of the young Christian man Khurram Masih.

On June 22, police officer Arif Jutt, along with some of his colleagues, entered Younas Masih's home in a village in Gojra, Toba Tek Singh district and tortured him together with his wife Tahira Bibi and his children. Arslan Masih and Karaf Masih. The policemen were looking for the other son, Waqar, who was not at home at the time. As a result of the torture, Younas Masih suffered many injuries. Before leaving the house, the police arrested the two young men, Arslan and Karaf. But on their first night in prison, they heard the news of their father's death. The police then immediately released the two young men.

A group linked to Human Rights Focus Pakistan (HRFP), meanwhile, has collected evidence by visiting the victims at home, interviewing families and neighbors, including Muhammad Awais and Muhammad Usama (eyewitnesses to the police attack on Younas Masih and his family) .

Arslan Masih told HRFP that his brother Waqar Masih is a very helpful young man for all local Christians. He is an eyewitness to the murder of the young Khurram Masih, whose case is being handled by the Gojra police station and also involves some Gojra policemen. The police have tried to pressure Waqar not to testify. One of the accused in Khurram’s death is the police officer Arif Jutt who, faced with Waqar’s refusal, attacked his family and caused the death of Younas Masih by torture.

At first, the police refused to accept a complaint about the death of Younas Masih, against Arif Jutt and his colleagues. Only after Waqar took his father's body to a nearby street did the police accept the complaint. Meanwhile, Arif Jutt and all the officers involved fled and went into hiding, with the help of their department.

On July 15, the police asked the village magistrate, Aurang Zaib Jutt, to persuade Waqar to reach an agreement with Arif Jutt. Aurang Zaib pointed out to Waqar that as he is part of a weaker (Christian) minority in the village, he must try not to challenge the Muslims. Thus, Waqar was offered a large sum of money to withdraw his testimony. But he did not accept because "my faith forbids me," he said.

Arif Jutt then thought of taking revenge, framing Waqar Masih with false accusations, to set an example for other Christians on how he believes they should behave with regards Muslims and the police of the department.

On August 16, Waqar Masih was stopped as he sat on the scooter of his friend, Muhammad Usama (also an eyewitness to the attack on Younas Masih). The Anti-Narcotics Force, (ANF) arrested him on charges of possessing and selling 4,800 kilos of marijuana, and also because he is in possession of two illegal guns.

Waqar is now in prison and the HRFP is following his story, also helping his family who are under threat.

 

Naveed Walter, president of the HRFP, says that the case and the accusations against Waqar Masih are another example of the true face of the police and the way in which they influence the trials. Waqar's relatives complain that there is such a lack of justice: "It seems that the power of the institution are uniting against Christians, including the police, local religious and political authorities".Toba Tek Singh (AsiaNews) - Waqar Masih, 25 (photo 1), is a Christian from a poor background who is in prison accused of selling drugs. But the charges are false. In reality he was framed by the police because he is asking for justice for his father, Younas Masih, 48 (photo 2), killed by some policemen a few months ago, and because Waqar is a witness to the murder, also by policemen, of the young Christian man Khurram Masih.

On June 22, police officer Arif Jutt, along with some of his colleagues, entered Younas Masih's home in a village in Gojra, Toba Tek Singh district and tortured him together with his wife Tahira Bibi and his children. Arslan Masih and Karaf Masih. The policemen were looking for the other son, Waqar, who was not at home at the time. As a result of the torture, Younas Masih suffered many injuries. Before leaving the house, the police arrested the two young men, Arslan and Karaf. But on their first night in prison, they heard the news of their father's death. The police then immediately released the two young men.

A group linked to Human Rights Focus Pakistan (HRFP), meanwhile, has collected evidence by visiting the victims at home, interviewing families and neighbors, including Muhammad Awais and Muhammad Usama (eyewitnesses to the police attack on Younas Masih and his family) .

Arslan Masih told HRFP that his brother Waqar Masih is a very helpful young man for all local Christians. He is an eyewitness to the murder of the young Khurram Masih, whose case is being handled by the Gojra police station and also involves some Gojra policemen. The police have tried to pressure Waqar not to testify. One of the accused in Khurram’s death is the police officer Arif Jutt who, faced with Waqar’s refusal, attacked his family and caused the death of Younas Masih by torture.

At first, the police refused to accept a complaint about the death of Younas Masih, against Arif Jutt and his colleagues. Only after Waqar took his father's body to a nearby street did the police accept the complaint. Meanwhile, Arif Jutt and all the officers involved fled and went into hiding, with the help of their department.

On July 15, the police asked the village magistrate, Aurang Zaib Jutt, to persuade Waqar to reach an agreement with Arif Jutt. Aurang Zaib pointed out to Waqar that as he is part of a weaker (Christian) minority in the village, he must try not to challenge the Muslims. Thus, Waqar was offered a large sum of money to withdraw his testimony. But he did not accept because "my faith forbids me," he said.

Arif Jutt then thought of taking revenge, framing Waqar Masih with false accusations, to set an example for other Christians on how he believes they should behave with regards Muslims and the police of the department.

On August 16, Waqar Masih was stopped as he sat on the scooter of his friend, Muhammad Usama (also an eyewitness to the attack on Younas Masih). The Anti-Narcotics Force, (ANF) arrested him on charges of possessing and selling 4,800 kilos of marijuana, and also because he is in possession of two illegal guns.

Waqar is now in prison and the HRFP is following his story, also helping his family who are under threat.

Naveed Walter, president of the HRFP, says that the case and the accusations against Waqar Masih are another example of the true face of the police and the way in which they influence the trials. Waqar's relatives complain that there is such a lack of justice: "It seems that the power of the institution are uniting against Christians, including the police, local religious and political authorities".

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