Christian man tortured to death while in Pakistan police custody
A Pakistani Christian man died on 3 September as a result of severe torture inflicted while held in police custody in Lahore, according to a post-mortem examination.
The examination found evidence of torture on the hands, back and arms of Amir Masih, a gardener who went to North Cantonment Police Station voluntarily to give a statement to clear his name following a minor theft from his employer’s home. His ribs were also broken.
Amir Masih was taken to an undisclosed location where he was tortured in an attempt to force a confession for an offence he did not commit. His brother claimed that police had urinated on him while cursing him for being a Christian.
CCTV footage later emerged that shows two policeman drawing up at a hospital on a motorcycle with Masih on the back. He is unable to stand and one of the officers kicks him while he is on the ground before both officers drag him inside.
Days later, on 8 September, the Governor of Lahore, Muhammad Sarwar, visited Amir Masih’s home and offered condolences to his bereaved family. He said the policemen involved in torture were criminals and would be treated accordingly. Six police officers are currently under investigation over the allegations.
A local Christian leader said, “Impunity for officials or police involved in brutality towards Christians only encourages others to be abusive. The governor's involvement promoting justice for victims is very helpful and sends a message that this criminal activity will be punished by the police.”