Giving hope to persecuted Christians since 1995
Select Page

ICC Note:

Another Pakistani Christian prisoner from Youhanabad has been found dead in jail under suspicious circumstances. This is the second Christian prisoner from Youhanabad to die in recent months. In 2015, 42 Christians were charged with lynching a two Muslims following a pair of church bombings. Police claim that the prisoner died due to a heart attack, but Christians claim he was tortured to death. Prison circumstances for Christians in Pakistan are difficult but these prisoners for Youhanabad are treated especially poorly due to the crime they are charged with. 

12/14/2017 Pakistan (Christian Times) – A Pakistan Christian who was accused of being involved in the lynching of two Muslims in 2015 has been found dead in a Lahore jail.

Usman Shaukat, 29, was one of 42 Christians who were put on trial over the lynching of two Muslims suspected of having links to the 2015 twin church bomb attack in Lahore, the capital of restive Punjab Province.

The authorities at Lahore’s main prison have claimed that Shaukat died of a heart attack on Dec. 9, but his brother, Kamran Shaukat, has claimed that the inmate was “perfectly healthy” when they met him in jail on Dec. 4.

“Both his daughters, aged 3 and 5, cry for their abbu (father),” Kamran said. “We are still in shock, but we don’t blame anybody. Our matter rests with God,” he added.

According to British Pakistani Christian Association (BPCA), an autopsy report has indicated that the inmate’s body was covered in bruises and welts, prompting suspicions about the circumstances leading up to his death.

Shaukat’s funeral on Dec. 11 had been attended by about 300 Christians despite heavy rain in the “Joseph Colony” of Lahore.

UCA News noted that this was Shaukat was the second Pakistani Christian who has been found dead in Lahore’s main prison.

In August, prison authorities reported that Inderyas Masih, another lynching suspect, had died of tubercolosis.

Pastor Irshad Ashknaz, vicar at one of the bombed churches in Lahore, said he now fears for the lives of the other inmates. He noted that there has been speculation of foul play in the deaths of the prisoners, but there is no proof.

Several families had fled the district out of fear that they would also be accused of being involved in the lynching of the Muslims men, the pastor said.

“We have held several meetings with police and government officials, but nobody is listening. We are helpless and do not know what to do,” Ashknaz said.

As many as 500 men were arrested in connection with the lynching of the two Muslims in March 2015.

[Full Story]

For interviews with William Stark, ICC’s Regional Manager, please contact Olivia Miller, Communications Coordinator: [email protected].