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Pakistani Christian Accused of Blasphemy Murdered in Prison

Washington , D.C. (September 15, 2009) –ICC has learned that the dead body of a Christian man accused of blasphemy was found hanging by his own belt in a Pakistani prison this morning.

Falish Masih, 20, had severe wounds on his face, arms and the rest of his body, but the police in Pakistan still insist that Falish committed suicide.

Falish was arrested on September 12 after violence against Christians erupted in Sambrail district following allegations that he desecrated the Qur‘an. A Muslim mob destroyed a church and two Christian homes after radical clerics called for the attacks.

According to ICC sources, a Muslim family enraged by the fact that Falish had fallen in love with their daughter, concocted the blasphemy allegations.

Christians in Pakistan have repeatedly been attacked by Muslim mobs after accusations of blasphemy. According to Pakistan ’s law, desecrating the Qur’an is considered blasphemy and results in life imprisonment.

ICC’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.

ICC urges all concerned parties to contact the Pakistan embassy and protest the killing of Falish and the attacks against Christians by Muslim mobs. Please ask the officials to repeal blasphemy laws that are causing this sort violence against Christians in Pakistan .

Pakistani Embassies:

USA : (202) 243-6500

Canada : (613) 238-7881

UK : 0870-005-6967

You are free to disseminate this news story. We request that you reference ICC (International Christian Concern) and include our web address, www.www.persecution.org. ICC is a Washington-DC based human rights organization that exists to help persecuted Christians worldwide. ICC provides Awareness, Advocacy, and Assistance to the worldwide persecuted Church. For additional information or for an interview, contact ICC at 800-422-5441.