04/24/2018, 17.28
Send to a friend

Catholic and Muslim activists call on Pakistani state to deliver justice for lynched student

by Kamran Chaudhry

Mashal Khan was killed on 13 April 2017 on suspicion of insulting the prophet Muhammad. His is a test case. For one activist, “Swift justice is for politicians and bureaucrats; Khan belonged to a poor family.”

Lahore (AsiaNews) – Catholic and Muslim activists are demanding justice for Mashal Khan, the journalism student who was lynched for allegedly posting blasphemous material on Facebook.

Activists met on the first anniversary of Khan’s death, 13 April, in front of the Lahore Press Club to demand a speedy sentencing for those involved in the lynching.

Meanwhile, the Peshawar High Court accepted on 17 April to hear an appeal against the sentence by the Anti-Terrorism Court which acquitted 26 of the 57 defendants involved in the case.

Khan was killed on 13 April 2017 by fellow university students at the Abdul Wali Khan University Mardan, solely on suspicion of having posted offensive comments about the Prophet Muhammad.

The images of his violent beating and the brutalisation of his lifeless body by more than hundred people spread quickly on social media.

Last June, an investigation ordered by Pakistan’s Supreme Court found that the student had  never said anything offensive against Islam.

According to activists, Khan's death is a test case. "His family had reservations from the very beginning. His two sisters couldn't continue their education because of security concerns," said Saeeda Deep, founder of the Institute of Peace and Secular Studies, speaking to AsiaNews.

"State authorities are not paying attention to his case. Swift justice is for politicians and bureaucrats; Khan belonged to a poor family. Road protests are our only hope," she lamented.

Many of the 300 or so protestors who gathered in front of Lahore Press Club to mark Khan's first death anniversary carried signs that said ‘We are Mashal’. “Ya Allah Ya Rasool, Mashal Khan is innocent," shouted a very emotional youth at the beat of a drum.

Ziaullah Hamdard, a former lecturer at the same university Khan attended, called on the government to help the victim's family.

"I have felt uneasy since witnessing his death,” said Hamdard, who is now an activist. “The government announced that it was going to name a university after him but we are still waiting".

More importantly, "The prevailing insanity in our society must end. Religion is being used as a weapon. We are heading towards a civil war,” he noted.

“Clerics were the first to issue fatwas (religious edicts), now the students are doing same. Those who stand up for their rights are labelled as traitors and spies," he added.

Send to a friend
Printable version
See also
Christians and activists outraged by student lynched for alleged blasphemy (Video)
14/04/2017 18:19
Killer of 'blasphemous' student sentenced to death, 30 others get jail time
07/02/2018 16:44
Report shows that lynched student did not blaspheme
06/06/2017 18:11
Lahore, Christian condemned to death for 'blasphemy on Whatsapp'
16/09/2017 10:37
65 arrested in Assam after youths lynched over fake news
13/06/2018 11:56


Subscribe to Asia News updates or change your preferences

Subscribe now
“L’Asia: ecco il nostro comune compito per il terzo millennio!” - Giovanni Paolo II, da “Alzatevi, andiamo”