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ICC Note:

A Christian sewer worker in Pakistan died after a doctor refused to touch him because he was ‘fasting’. According to reports, the Christian, Irfan Masih, was taken to the hospital after inhaling poison gas in a manhole where he was working. Upon arrival, Dr. Yousuf refused to touch the Christian because he feared it would make him unclean. This refusal delayed vital care, leading to Masih’s death. Discrimination against Christians in Pakistan is widespread. Considered unclean by some of Pakistan’s Muslim majority, instances of ‘untouchability’ have led to outright communal clashes such as the blasphemy accusation that landed Asia Bibi on death row.  

06/05/2017 Pakistan (Pakistan Today) – A sewer cleaner Irfan Masih succumbed to death in Civil Hospital Umerkot, mainly because the senior doctor at the facility refused to touch his body as he was ‘fasting.’

“Dr. Yousuf said he would not touch Irfan’s dirty body until it was cleaned because he was fasting,” the deceased’s brother Pervaiz Maseeh the media. He said that he cleaned his brother’s body, after which an oxygen pump was sent for Irfan, but that was empty.

Irfan had dived down to clean a manhole Thursday morning when he fell unconscious after inhaling poisonous gases locked inside, his brother Pervaiz said.

The brother told the media that he Irfan was brought to the hospital as soon as he could but could not be saved only because of the doctor’s negligence.

Pervaiz said that the Umerkot SSP Usman Bajwa visited them a while back, promising that the responsible doctor would be taken to task and complete investigation would be carried out in the case.

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