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By Sheraz Khurram Khan

7/3/07 MANDI BAHAWALDIN, PAKISTAN (ANS) Imran Masih, a Christian youth who was allegedly sodomized by some Muslim men on the night between June 2nd and 3rd has been bailed out after the accused had filed a “fake” Police First Information report (FIR) against the young Christian man.

Masih was accused on June 9 at Mandi Bahawaldin Police Station by the Muslim man of robbing him of cash worth Rs. 50,000 (US$8,333.33) and a cell phone.

According to local sources, Masih had picked a quarrel with Naveed, one of his Muslim friends, at a playground. Naveed’s father, Muhammad Sadique, took Imran Masih to his drawing room under the garb of “reconciliation” but Masih told the group, Rays of Development (ROD), that as he entered the room he was attacked by several Muslim men who he said later subjected him to sexual abuse.

Imran Masih secured interim bail from June 10-14 and then the civil Judge Muzaffar Nawaz, then extended the bail to another two days until June 16. When Imran Masih appeared before the court on June 16 the Judge cancelled his bail.

ANS has learnt that Masih, who had sustained injuries during the alleged sexual assault, could not walk properly so the Police asked Masih’s family to arrange a vehicle that ferried him to the Mandibahawaldin Police Station.

Sensing Masih’s plight, the Police rushed him to District Headquarters Hospital in Mandi Bahawaldin where a doctor conducted a medical examination.

Ferhan Mazher, Chief of Rays of Development (ROD), whose organization launched a probe into the case, told ANS on Monday, July 2 that the doctor “blatantly ignored” Masih’s insistence that he had been subjected to a sexual assault.

“You are lying. The marks of injuries on your chest are self-created. You have not been subjected to any sexual abuse,” ROD Chief quoted the doctor as telling Imran.

Coming down hard on the doctor for not doing “justice” to the Christian man, Mazher said that the doctor’s examination report did not reveal critical injuries that Masih had sustained. The report, he underscored, does not reveal that he had been assaulted sexually.

After the cancellation of his bail, the Christian man was brought back to the Police Station. Describing the difficult time at the Police Station, Ferhan quoted Imran Masih as saying that during detention a police official harassed Masih sexually during the nights.

A ROD activist, Zimran Elias, told ANS that a police official also hurled threats at Imran in a bid to force him to withdraw the application he had filed in the police station against the Muslim accused.

Ferhan told ANS that on June 21 he, along with Imran’s father, Samuel Masih approached the Centre for Legal Aid, Assistance and Settlement (CLAAS), for help.

CLAAS Lawyers, Tahir Gul Sadiq and Sohail Habil agreed to take Masih’s case and he was bailed out on June 30.

Ferhan further told ANS that CLAAS held out assurance that they would get another medical examination conducted. If the examination proved that he had been subjected to sexual assault then CLAAS would lodge case against the Muslim accused, he maintained.

Ferhan also disclosed that Christian resident of Mandibahawaldin, who raised his voice against the injustice with the Christian youth, is now being threatened by influential Muslims there.