22 March 2018

Help AsiaNews | About us | P.I.M.E. | Contact us | Newsletter | Facebook | Twitter | desktop

02/26/2018 PAKISTAN

Christian jumps from fourth floor during the interrogation in Lahore. Activists ask for a fair trial (Video)

Sajid Masih is in intensive care in serious condition. His 17-year-old cousin is the Christian man arrested for blasphemy. Police agents wanted to force him to perform oral sex on his relative. For activist, "The government should punish the agents involved".

Lahore (AsiaNews) – In Punjab, a Christian man jumped from the fourth floor of a police station to escape torture by agents during his interrogation. Sajid Masih, 24, is the cousin of Patras Masih, a 17-year-old man who was recently arrested on blasphemy charges in Shahdara.

Speaking to AsiaNews, Pakistani activists and representatives of civil society groups condemned the incident. The Cecil & Iris Chaudhry Foundation (CICF) expressed deep concern for the brutal treatment by the Cybercrime wing of the FIA (Federal Investigation Agency).

The tragic event occurred when both Christian men were in the FIA headquarters. The youngest of the two is accused of posting blasphemous photo on his Facebook account.

Reacting to the latter, Muslim radicals staged a protest in his village that lasted at least 12 hours. Fearing violence, at least 800 local Christian families fled their homes.

Sajid is now in the intensive care unit, in serious condition. From his hospital bed he explained the reason for his gesture. During the interrogation he says he was violently beaten by the police, who then forced him to insult his cousin Patras and tried to force to perform oral sex on his cousin.

When all his pleas proved futile, and the officials continued to insist that he do what they wanted, he was left with no other option but to jump out of the window from the fourth floor of the building.

“We are outraged, shocked and horrified by the alleged behaviour of the FIA Cybercrime Wing officials,” said CICF president Michelle Chaudhry. “We demand that this incident be investigated at the earliest and firm action be taken against the officials involved. These acts of brutality cannot be overlooked.”

For Ms Chaudry, “A fair trial is every citizen’s right regardless of faith, cast or gender; this kind of extreme hostility and inhuman behaviour during investigation is unacceptable and uncalled for and has to end. We demand that the Government look into this on priority and fulfill its responsibility to protect the life and dignity of every single Pakistani.” 

On twitter, Jibran Nasir, a well-known activist, also reacted. “Police has registered a suicide case against #SajidMasih. However, Sajid jumped from FIA building alleging he was trying to save himself from torture & sexual abuse as FIA officers were forcing him to perform oral sex on his cousin Patras whose [sic] accused of blasphemy”.

 “I totally condemn this behaviour of police officials which they performed with Sajid Masih, this is against humanity. I call upon the government and [the] chief justice of Pakistan to provide full security to [. . .] Sajid Masih, Patras Masih and their families.”

With respect to “Khalid Saeed, a person from [the] FIA, who is accused of sexual assault,” the  “government must refrain him from this case and he must be brought to fair investigation against this inhuman act”.

In light of the situation, the “Chief justice of Pakistan must [also] take suo moto action against Khadim Hussain Rizvi and his followers for taking [the] law in their [own] hands.” The latter belong to Tehrik-e-Labaik Ya Rasool whose protest sparked the flight of Christians from their village.


See also

27/02/2018 16:46:00 PAKISTAN
Christians fast to save young man wounded during an interrogation

Two protests are held at the same time in Lahore and Karachi. Sajid Masih is in a Lahore hospital. The Christian man jumped from the window of the Punjab police headquarters to escape torture by agents.

01/03/2018 16:07:00 PAKISTAN
Pakistan’s Catholic and Protestant Churches condemn the torture of a young Christian (video)

Sajid Masih jumped from a window in the Punjab police headquarters to escape police abuse. After days of waiting at the hospital, he was operated on his legs yesterday. Christian leaders call for an independent inquiry, demanding justice. His cousin Patras is still in custody for alleged blasphemy.

10/03/2018 16:57:00 PAKISTAN
In Lahore, a movement for tolerance holds a hunger strike against blasphemy laws

The protest took place yesterday in front of the Provincial Assembly of Punjab. Many politicians, civil society leaders, and clerics were present. The cases of Patras Masih and his cousin Sajid, who is in hospital with serious injuries, were cited.

14/03/2018 14:40:00 PAKISTAN
Lawyer for 'blasphemous' Christians warns of investigation irregularities in Lahore

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”.

23/02/2018 15:53:00 PAKISTAN
In Punjab, fear spreads among Christians after young man is charged with blasphemy

About 800 Christian families have left their homes in the village of Dhir after Patras Masih, 18, was accused of sharing an offensive post on Facebook. Police watch over empty homes to prevent robberies. For priest, “Illiterate people do not need to buy expensive smartphones as they do not know how to use social media”.

AsiaNews C.F. e P.Iva: 00889190153