ICC Note: Hundreds of Christians gathered in front of the Punjab Assembly in Lahore last week to demand justice for two Christian youths accused of blasphemy. Patras Masih and his cousin, Sajid Masih, were brutally tortured by police as officials attempted to force confessions from the Christians. Protesters demanded an independent investigation into the accusations against the Christian youths and the reports of police torture.
03/06/2018 Pakistan (The Christian Times) – More than 200 Christians have gathered in front of the Punjab Assembly in Lahore on March 2 to call on the government to ensure justice for two cousins who are accused of blasphemy.
Christians belonging to Catholic and Protestant churches have attended a rally to demand justice for Sajid and Patras Masih who were accused of posting blasphemous images on Facebook.
Patras, a sweeper at a local bank branch, had voluntarily surrendered to authorities on Feb. 19 after a mob of enraged protesters stormed their neighborhood. Days after Patras surrendered to the authorities, Sajid was summoned to the headquarters of Federal Investigation Agency and was ordered to hand over his mobile phone.
Sajid had reportedly thrown himself out of a fourth-floor window of the FIA headquarters in an attempt to commit suicide after officials allegedly told him to perform oral sex on his cousin during interrogation.
Christian leaders are calling for an independent inquiry into the case and a fair trial for the accused, who hail from Shahadra near Lahore.
“We are all Sajid and Patras Masih. Do not push us to the wall. Sexual harassment by police is both immoral and irreligious. Sajid is a kid and a Pakistani. We demand proper medical treatment for him,” Bishop Azad Marshall of Raiwind said at the gathering, according to UCA News.
The rally was organized by the Pakistan Christian Action Committee (PCAC), which was created on March 1 during a meeting of Christians at the National Council of Churches in Pakistan.
For interviews with William Stark, ICC’s Regional Manager, please contact Olivia Miller, Communications Coordinator: firstname.lastname@example.org.