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ICC Note: The family of Sharoon Masih, a Pakistani Christian boy beaten to death at school, has accepted the offer of compensation in exchange for dropping charges against their son’s killer. In August 2017, Masih was beaten to death by his Muslim classmate, Ahmed Raza, in a classroom at MC Model High School. Raza was released on bail after the court said there was “no clear evidence” connecting him with Masih’s death.

05/11/2018 Pakistan (World Watch Monitor) – The family of a Christian boy beaten to death on his second day in secondary school have accepted the offer of compensation from the family of the accused.

The Islamic concept of paying diyat (blood money) to the victim’s family allowed the suspect to walk free.

Sharoon Masih, 17, was beaten to death in a classroom at MC Model High School in Burewala, Punjab province, in August 2017.

Fellow student Ahmed Raza was arrested and jailed for the attack, but later released on bail after a court said there was “no clear evidence” connecting him with Masih’s death.

On 26 April, Burewala Additional Sessions Judge Naveed Khaliq acquitted Raza of a murder charge and freed him, citing section 319 of Pakistan’s Penal Code, which states: “Whoever commits qatl-i-khata [homicide by mistake] shall be liable to diyat.”

Khurram Shahzad Maan, Executive Director of the Organisation for Legal Aid, an affiliate of the European Centre for Law and Justice, told World Watch Monitor that Pakistan’s government revises the amount fixed for diyat every year. “This year it is fixed at 1,935,594 rupees (US $17,000), while the family was offered 1,550,000 (US $13,500), which they have accepted,” he said.

In April World Watch Monitor reported that the alleged killers of Arsalan Masih, 16, had compensated his family with three million rupees – a sum higher than the amount fixed by the government. The outcome was described as a “rare victory” by a lawyer working for the Masih family.

Masih’s mother Razia Bibi told World Watch Monitor that they had forgiven the suspect because even his hanging would not bring back her son. “It is a lifelong wound that we are to live with but we hope that Ahmed would realize what terrible wrong he has done to us,” she said.

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