|Body of police brutality victim Niamat Masih|
In a case that demonstrates the constant double-standards in Pakistan, the father of a Christian boy who had run off with a Muslim girl was tortured to death by the police. Even though the girl, Shazia Bibi, went of her own accord, her father Mohammed Ashraf registered a FIR against Asif Nimran and his sisters Maria and Mehwish, accusing them of kidnapping Shazia on 24th September.
Since the actual accused were not found, the police of Arifwala District in the Pakpattan province of Punjab took into custody the elderly father of all the accused, Niamat Masih. The outrage of the Muslim magistrate that a Muslim girl had gone of with a Christian boy was such that he agreed to the police request to remand Niamat in custody for 14 days, even though he had no involvement in the 'crime', and that the girl had entered into the relationship of her own accord - in sharp contrast to the genuine kidnaps, rapes and forced kidnap and marriage of Christian girls that happen about twice a day, with very few prosecutions.
The police then beat and tortured the elderly Niamat so badly that he was rendered unconscious. They took him to the nearest hospital where he died of his injuries.
His body was taken on 15th October to another hospital for a post-mortem, where Christian pastors and politicians demonstrated for justice, to no avail.
Wilson Chowdhry, chairman of the BPCA said 'This case once again proves the double standards that go on in Pakistan. A totally innocent man has been brutally tortured to death for the crime of having a son who loved a Muslim girl. The police and magistrate abused the laws to feed their Muslim 'honour outrage'. Meanwhile, on a daily basis, Muslims get away with brutally raping and kidnapping Christian and other minority girls, forcing them to convert and marry in what amounts to lifelong sex-slavery.'
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