Thursday, August 4, 2011

Justice for family of martyred Christian in Pakistan

Rasheed Masih's family mourned his death
at his funeral last year. (Photo: Compass Direct) 
The Pakistani court has sentenced three Muslims to life imprisonment for the murder of a Christian they killed for refusing to convert to Islam, reports the European Centre for Law and Justice (ECLJ).

Over a year ago, in March 2010, we reported about the murder of 36-year-old Rasheed Masih. Rasheed, a successful potato merchant, reportedly went to the home of one of the defendants to make a business deal. During the meeting, Rasheed was asked to convert to Islam.

Rasheed refused so the four men gathered there beat him with iron rods. Rasheed’s brother and the police found his bloodied body and rushed him to hospital. He succumbed to his injuries on the way, but not before stating who had tortured him.

The police denied that Rasheed had made such statements and refused to arrest the four Muslims. A large group of Christians demanded the arrest of the killers and blocked a major highway in protest. After five hours, the police conceded and the arrests were made.

Ghulam Rasool, Amjad Iqbal, and Kashir Saleem have been sentenced to life imprisonment. Muhammad Asif, the fourth Muslim, was acquitted by police. The three convicts have been further ordered to each pay Rasheed’s family 100,000 rupees (approximately $1,100 CAD) as compensation.

The ECLJ plans on filing an appeal to the Lahore High Court regarding the acquittal of Asif.

For the full report, click here.

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