Here is yet another account of officials aiding in the persecution of Christians, rather than protecting them as they should. There are about 500 Orthodox Christians in Pakistan. “The Orthodox Mission in Pakistan (OMP) was officially established in 2005, under the omophorion of the Orthodox Metropolitanate of Hong Kong and South East Asia. Currently, Fr. John Tanveer is one of the few Orthodox priests in all of Pakistan serving the faithful all over the country.”
Like all the Christians in Pakistan, who number about 2.5 million, or 1.6% of the population, the Orthodox Christians of that nation face regular discrimination, not infrequent harassment, and sometimes outright persecution, often by means of exploitation of Pakistan’s blasphemy laws. The blasphemy laws are often used against Christians and other religious minorities in order to evade debts or seize the property of the victimized people. The Order calls upon the government of Pakistan to reaffirm its respect for human rights by repealing these laws and granting Christians full religious freedom.
“Illegally Detained Christian Tortured to Death in Custody in Pakistan, Family Says,” Morning Star News, September 9, 2019:
LAHORE, Pakistan (Morning Star News) – Police in Lahore, Pakistan tortured to death the Christian father of 14-day-old and 7-year-old sons, relatives said.
Officers on Aug. 28 illegally detained 28-year-old Amir Masih on a false charge of theft and tortured him for four days before he died in a hospital on Sept. 2, his brother Sunny Masih told Morning Star News.
Interrogating officers in the 96-percent Muslim country “urinated on Amir’s face and body and mocked his Christian faith” while trying to torture him into a false confession, Masih said.
After filing an application with police on Aug. 31 alleging forced disappearance of Amir Masih, a member of the Church of Pakistan, relatives were informed that he had been taken into custody by a sub-inspector identified only as Zeeshan in connection with a theft case. Their repeated attempts to meet Sub-Inspector Zeeshan were blocked. They did know of Amir Masih’s whereabouts until an officer phoned Sunny Masih on Sept. 2 to tell him that his brother was not well and that they should come and take him to the hospital, Masih said.
“We rushed to the police station, where we were handed a semi-conscious Amir,” he said. “He was beaten up mercilessly, and his body was full of bruises. While we were taking him to the hospital, Amir told us that Inspector Nasir Baig, Sub-Inspector Zeeshan and four unidentified constables had tortured him continuously for four days.”
Sunny Masih said that while police released without a scratch all other employees who worked with Amir Masih, a gardener, after they were summoned about the alleged theft, his brother was subjected to severe torture because he was a poor Christian whom police believed could be coerced into a false confession.
“He told us that the police officials had urinated on him while cursing him for being a Christian and tried to force him to confess to the crime,” he said. “But my brother was innocent, and he refused to admit to something that he had not done, which further infuriated his interrogators. They increased the intensity of the violence, also subjecting him to electric shocks.”
Doctors at Services Hospital tried to save his life, but he succumbed to his injuries after a couple of hours, Masih said.
Working as a gardener in PAF Colony, Amir Masih was summoned to North Cantt Police Station in a phone call from Zeeshan regarding a theft case registered by his employer, Rana Mohammad Hanif, Masih said.
“Amir was present at Hanif’s house when he received the inspector’s call,” he said. “The watchman of the house told him that all employees had been summoned by the police to record their statements, and he should do the same. My brother went to the police station of his own will, but when he reached there the cops seized his phone, bundled him into a vehicle and spirited him to some unknown place.”
When he did not return home that evening, Sunny Masih and other relatives went out to search for him, he said.
“When I reached Hanif’s house to inquire about Amir, the watchman told me that he had been summoned by Sub-Inspector Zeeshan to record his statement,” he said. “For the next two days, we continued to search for both Amir and the police officer but failed to find any trace of their whereabouts.”
A post-mortem report on the death states that torture marks were visible on his hands, feet, back and arms. His ribs were also broken….