Lawyer for 'blasphemous' Christians warns of investigation irregularities in Lahore
by Kamran Chaudhry

Aneeqa Maria took part in the hunger strike led by the Movement for Tolerance. Almost all of Sajid Masih’s bones are broken. “Some hospital workers are even praying for [his] death”. In Pakistan, “a dead dog and a dead Christian are seen as equals”.

Lahore (AsiaNews) – The lawyer for two Christian men accused of blasphemy has warned of several irregularities in the investigation of her clients.

Aneeqa Maria represent Patras and Sajid Masih. Patras, 17, was arrested for insulting Islam; his cousin Sajid, 24, is in hospital in Lahore after jumping from the fourth floor of a police station to escape police abuse during the interrogation.

The lawyer, a member of The Voice Society, took part last Friday in the hunger strike led by Rwadari Tehreek, a movement for tolerance, in front of the Provincial Assembly.

Speaking about Sajid's conditions, Maria said that "Almost every bone in his body is broken.”

“The shameless and merciless FIA officials took a forced statement after he survived although he kept insisting to see his lawyer. He was not even shown the copy of that statement,” she explained. The FIA or Federal Investigation Agency is Pakistan’s main security agency.

At the same time, “Some hospital workers are even praying for the death of chuhra (low caste),” she added.

“This morning a three-member FIA committee, investigating the suicide attempt, took thumb impressions from the imprisoned blasphemy suspect,” Maria noted.

“Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal, who ordered the inquiry against the FIA officials, has no time to meet us. This is a matter of grave concern. The poor families cannot fight powerful federal agencies.”

“Ever since the tragedy occurred, we are all raising [our] voice but the high authorities are not listening. Our demands are countered with fake assurance of ongoing investigation. In this country, a dead dog and a dead Christian are seen as equals,” she said.