Killer of Christian Student in Pakistan Released on Bail by High Court

ICC Note:

The killer of Sharoon Masih, a Christian student in Pakistan beaten to death in August, has been released on bail by the Multan High Court. According to the court, there was not enough evidence against the accused to keep them imprisoned. Christian sources around the case claim that police failed to properly investigate the case or collect evidence, which ultimately led to the release of the accused. Christians in Pakistan face widespread discrimination. Often, the perpetrators of crimes against Christians operate with complete impunity due to the bias Christians face in Pakistan’s police force. Will Sharoon Masih and his family ever receive justice? 

01/30/2018 Pakistan (Asia News) – The Multan High Court in Pakistan has ordered the release on bail of Ahmed Raza, the Muslim student arrested for killing Sharoon Masih, age 17, his classmate of Christian faith.

The latter was beaten to death because he was “guilty” of having drunk from the same water dispenser as fellow Muslims. According to the judges, no clear evidence was collected to attest to the guilt of the arrested person.

The victim’s family denounce the superficiality with which the police conducted the investigation. Catholic sources asking for anonymity also reported that the agents delayed the filing of the report and altered the evidence compromising the result of the investigation.

The autopsy exams presented in court excluded traces of torture and spoke only of death by heart attack. “It was clear,” says the source, “that with all these gaps and in the absence of overwhelming evidence the killer would be released. It is painful, because the Christian student was brutally killed.”

Sharoon was beaten to death on August 30 last year. Originally from Chak 461 Village, he was admitted to the public school of Burewala just a few days before his death. Razia Bibi, Sharoon’s mother, reports that her son was immediately targeted by Muslim classmates who imposed a ban on drinking from the same water dispenser as them. But Sharoon disobeyed and for this reason was beaten to death.

The High Court verdict of the has thrown the family of the victim and the whole Christian community into despair.

Alysaab Masih, the student’s father, says: “While the country is united in calling for justice for Zainab (a seven-year-old girl raped and strangled in Kasur), no one is raising their voice for us. The killer is an adult, about 20 years old, while medical reports claim that he is only 17 and a half years old. From the first hearing I understood that the court would free him.”

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