Pak: Case against Police after Christian dies in custody

June 26, 2013 by  
Filed under newsletter-asia, Persecution

A Christian teenager has died in police custody in Pakistan after allegedly being severely tortured for six days.

Adnan Masih's funeral took place on 11 June

Adnan Masih's funeral took place on 11 June

Pakistan, June 24, 2013: Adnan Masih (18) from Sharaqpur Sharif was arrested on 4 June in connection with the case of a young Muslim woman who had gone missing. The police had also rounded up local Muslim youths to question them over the matter, but they were all released.

Adnan insisted that he knew nothing of the woman in question; she had apparently had an affair with a Muslim man and left her husband, but her parents claimed that she had been kidnapped.

Officers seized mobile phones belonging to Adnan and the woman and obtained their call records from their respective network providers. They found no record of any communication between them.

They did however discover calls between the woman and three young Muslim men from the area. The Muslims were summoned to the police station but later set free, seemingly after the payment of a bribe.

Officers then tried to force Adnan to confess to being involved in the woman’s disappearance, allegedly subjecting him to severe torture: they beat him round the head with an iron rod, cut him with a sharp knife, broke his legs and pulled the nails out of his fingers and toes. After six days of torture, when Adnan was almost dead, his neck was broken. The Christian’s body was hanged in the bathroom; police claimed that he had committed suicide.

The matter was reported by a local pastor to CLAAS, a Christian legal organisation in Pakistan that Barnabas Fund supports, who immediately sent an investigative team to the Sharaqpur Sharif Police Station, where Adnan had died on 10 June.

Over 4,000 local Christians blocked the road in protest, demanding justice and the arrest of those responsible for his death.

The CLAAS team succeeded in persuading senior officers to register a First Information Report (FIR), which launches a criminal investigation in Pakistan, against three officers.

Adnan’s funeral took place on 11 June after a post-mortem had been carried out. He was the son of a retired head teacher and had six siblings. Adnan lived with his parents in Sharaqpur Sharif and worked as an air-conditioning and fridge mechanic in Lahore.

– barnabas team

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