A recent report asserts an 18-year-old Christian youth from the Pakistani Punjab, Adnan Masih, was tortured to death by local police. According to the report, 4,000 Christians have protested the recent exoneration of police responsible for Masih’s wrongful death. Alleging corruption, the report incriminates a local politician as having directed authorities to falsify evidence against a member of the minority Christian community for the abduction of a local Muslim girl. That implication appears to have led to Masih’s arbitrary 10-day detention and ultimate death by torture.
7/12/2013 Pakistan (AHRC) — The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information that police officers have been exonerated (by their own internal inquiry) from charges of killing a young Christian, who was tortured to death while being kept in illegal detention. After the killing, in a bid to fool the Christian community, senior police officials announced that all police officers involved in the matter, including the Station Head Officer (SHO), had been arrested and suspended, and that an inquiry would be conducted. However, the officers were never arrested and, after an internal inquiry, all of the perpetrators were exonerated from the charges of torture and death in police custody.
A member of the Punjab assembly, Mr. Asghar Munda (who is from the ruling party) urged the police to release a Muslim man who allegedly abducted a Muslim girl, telling the police to punish someone from the Christian community instead.
Senior police officers are continuously intimidating the family members of the victim, telling them to withdraw the charges against the police. The senior officers have threatened that, if charges are not withdrawn, the family will face severe consequences.
The police officers demonstrated their hate against Christians during the boy’s illegal detention. They said that such young people need exemplary punishment when they dare to have friendships with Muslim girls.
Adnan Masih, 18 years old, a resident of Sharaqpur Sharif District Sheikhupura, Punjab province, was tortured to death in police custody after ten days of illegal imprisonment. Adnan, son of Mr. Riaz Masih (a retired headmaster), was working in the electrical services shop of Mr. Muhammad Imran as an assistant.
Adnan Masih was taken into custody at the Sharaqpur Sharif police station, on 2 June 2013, 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, Imran, the owner of the shop where Adnan was working, and left her husband, but her parents claimed that she had been kidnapped.
Officers obtained call records from Adnan and the woman’s 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 on 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 hung up in the bathroom. Police claimed that he had committed suicide. He died on 10 June 2013.
Over 4,000 local Christians blocked the road in protest, demanding justice and the arrest of those responsible for his death.