According to the family of imprisoned Christian Zafar Bhatti, police called their family last week and told them that Bhatti had been killed by a police officer in prison. This rumor, which spread fast through national and international media, was eventually proved to be false. Bhatti has been beat and threatened many times in prison, but is still alive and well and was recently visited by his family following the rumor of his death. Please continue to pray for Bhatti as he is one of many Christians falsely accused of blasphemy awaiting trial in Pakistan.
10/2/2014 Pakistan (Asia News) – “I received a call from the police and they told me that my brother had been killed in prison,” Naureen Bhatti, sister of Rev Zafar Bhatti, told Asia News as she explained yesterday’s announcement of his “murder in prison”. Once alerted, the family “raced to the prison” to see the victim’s body and find out how he died; however, prison guards prevented them from identifying the alleged body.
The news, which turn out to be false, began circulating on Pakistani and international media, with activists and high-ranking Christian officials slamming the murder after the police called the family to announce his death and subsequently banned them from viewing the body.
Yesterday, Zafar Bhatti’s family and the Church of Rawalpindi met him in prison, confirming that the clergyman is alive and in good health.
The attack in Bhatti’s cell last week was aimed at his cellmate, Muhammad Asghar, a British Ahmadi also accused of blasphemy. Asghar and Bhatti shared the same cell on Level 4 in the Adyala Jail. A prison guard, who said he acted on “divine inspiration”, seriously wounded him.
Reports about Bhatti’s death spread fast, picked up by many phony human rights groups claiming to defend the Christian leader and plead on his behalf in court. Even the local Church thought he had died. A Rawalpindi parish even held a funeral service in his memory.
Meanwhile, Bhatti’s trial was scheduled to resume today but the hearing was cancelled because it is unclear represents the accused.