A 20-year-old Pakistani who was arrested for blasphemy on September 12 in a village in Punjab has been found dead in prison. Police say that the man, Falish Masih, had hanged himself, but Nadeem Anthony, a member of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP), has accused the authorities of judicial murder. He described the death as:
A torture killing â€¦we can see signs of torture on his body in the picture.
AsiaNews received photos of the body and claims that the injuries that can be seen appear unrelated to strangulation by hanging.
Masih was arrested last Saturday after accusations of blasphemy were made against him. A day earlier a Muslim mob had gathered in front of the church in the village of Jaithikey, not far from the town of Samberial, in the district of Sialkot (Punjab), to teach the local Christian community a “lesson”.
Extremists damaged the building before setting it on fire. They also pillaged two homes near the church.
A relationship between the 20-year-old Christian man and a young Muslim woman appears to be the cause of the turn of events.
Masih was accused of provoking the young woman and of throwing away a copy of the Koran she had in her hands.
Fr Emmanuel Yousaf Mani, director of the National Commission for Justice and Peace (NCJP) of the Catholic Church, said:
Muslims cannot stand the idea that a Muslim woman might fall in love with a Christian.
In another incident, also last Saturday but reported only yesterday, a Christian settlement in Ghaziabad, a neighbourhood in Orangi Town, near Karachi (Sindh), was attacked by a mob of Muslims, enraged by blasphemy charges against a 40-year-old Christian man called Lawrence.
After repeatedly attacking the man’s house with stones and rocks, the mob attacked local Christians and tried to storm the local Catholic Church. Only a quick intervention by police prevented a blood bath.
Violence action by Pakistani Islamists is funded by foreign jihadist organisations. In fact, the Arab Herald recently reported that a Saudi charity gave 15 million dollars to a pro al-Qaeda militant organisation, AsiaNews claims.
In this report, The US-based International Christian Concern’s Jonathan Racho, said:
We are extremely saddened to learn of the killing of Falish in police custody. In the past, Christian accused of blasphemy have been killed by Muslims even after courts find the Christians not guilty.
We condemn in the strongest terms this latest killing inside prison. The killing exposes the complete lack of protection for Christians in Pakistan. We call upon the international community to pressure the government of Pakistan for protection of Christian minorities.