ASIA/PAKISTAN - A Christian student tortured and killed by the police

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Sheikhupura (Agenzia Fides) - A 17-year-old Christian student was beaten and tortured to death by a group of six Pakistani police officers in the village of Jhubhran, near the city of Sheikhupura, in Pakistani Punjab. The boy was called Arslan Masih and attended a public Academy.
As reported to Fides by Christian lawyer Sardar Mushtaq Gill, who is following the case, "the boy's family denounced the murder but the reconstruction of the facts seems rather difficult because the police are reluctant to taking legal action against the policemen who beat Arslan Masih to death".
According to a first reconstruction, there had been a dispute between Arslan Masih and a policeman’s children in past days. For revenge, six policemen arrived at the Academy that Arslan attended and began to beat him until the young man died. According to another version, Arslan did not stop at a checkpoint and the police followed and brutalized him, then left his body in front of the Academy. In addition a policeman accused Arslan of having sexually abused his son, but the accusation is false and completely unfounded, repeat Arslan's family members.
Lawyer Gill tells Fides: "We firmly condemn this brutality carried out by the police in Punjab who kill innocent Christians counting on the fact that Christians, the weakest in society, can do nothing and that violence will remain unpunished. We demand justice for a poor Christian student killed by policemen".
This is not an isolated episode: among the other clamorous episodes still unpunished, in March 2015, 20-year-old Christian Zubair Masih was tortured to death by the police. The young man's mother had previously been accused of stealing gold from her Muslim employer’s home, where she was employed as a housekeeper. The police beat him and tried to force him to confess. (PA) (Agenzia Fides, 10/10/2017)