Pakistan Police "Torture" Christian Brothers After Deadly Clashes

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Pakistan Police "Torture" Christian Brothers After Deadly Clashes

Post  Waqar Daniel on Tue 27 Oct 2009, 2:34 pm

By Worthy News Staff

ISLAMABAD, PAKISTAN (Worthy News)-- Two Pakistani Christians who allegedly fired warning shots at a Muslim mob that turned seven Christians to death, were still coping Sunday, October 25, with the aftermath of alleged police torture.

Naveed Masih, 32, and his 25-year-old brother Nauman Masih were detained in early September on charges of rioting with deadly weapons and spreading terror with firing.

Police said the two men were involved in firing warning shots on August 1 in a Christian area of the city of Gojra, in Pakistan volatile Punjab province, where Muslim militants attacked Christians.

Naveed Masih allegedly fired warning shots from a rooftop into the air and at the feet of the approaching Muslim assailants to try to disperse them, but both brothers have denied the charges.

Only one of hundreds of Muslim assailants held responsible for burning at least 50 homes is in jail for the fire assault on Gojras Christian Town, reported Compass Direct News, a Christian news agency.

While his younger brother has meanwhile been released on bail, Naveed Masih remained behind bars Sunday, October 25. Speaking from his prison, Naveed Masih said in published remarks that he and his brother were taken to the Police Training Centre in the area Choong, where they were kept "in illegal detention" for 18 days.

Police kept them hungry for days, he said. When they asked for food, officers allegedly told them to confess that they had fired weapons. Compass Direct News quoted Naveed Masih as saying that said police tortured them to try to force them to say they had links with terrorist organizations that provided arms and ammunition.

"Sometimes we were hung in a dark well while our faces were covered with a cloth," he reportedly said. They beat me with cane sticks on the back of my hands and sometimes hung me upside down and then brutally beat me.

Local Christians have reportedly said that Muslims wanted police to detain the two Christian brothers as they gave shelter to 300 people uprooted by the violence. Police also registered complaints filed by the Muslim assailants against 129 Christians, Christian news reports said.

The August violence broke out following an an unsubstantiated rumor of blasphemy of the Koran, viewed as a holy book by Muslims. Encouraged by by local imams and banned terrorist groups, Christians said the violent crowd looted more than 100 houses and set fire to 50 of them. At least 19 people were reportedly injured in the clashes.

Pakistan is experiencing an increase in Islamist extremism, according to Pakistani Christians and other Western observers.

Worthy News


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Waqar Daniel

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