While investigating an alleged theft, police detained 28-year-old Amir Masih. Four days later, he died in hospital from wounds inflicted by police officers.
On August 28th, Amir Masih was taken into custody after accusations of theft were made against him by his employer. Two days later, after not returning home, his family discovered that he was being detained. Finally, on September 2nd, they were informed that Amir was going to be transferred to hospital because he was not well.
Video footage at the hospital shows police bringing Amir there on a motorcycle and then kicking him as they dragged him to the entrance. He died later that day, but only after telling his family of his torture. According to his brother Sunny, Amir was urinated on and mocked for his Christian faith. Then he was tortured, beaten and electrocuted in the officers' efforts to force a confession. An autopsy confirms that he had suffered extensive bruising, along with broken ribs.
At last report, six police officers, including a sub-inspector, have been criminally charged. Various political officials have intervened to ensure justice will be done. One of the officials, Shunila Ruth, believes it is very possible that Amir was tortured because of his Christian faith. "Unfortunately, there are segments in our society who continue to be prejudicial towards members of marginalized communities," she states. For more information on the difficulties facing Christians in Pakistan, see this page.
Please uphold Amir's wife and two young sons, along with their other family members and friends, as they now try to struggle with the shock of their loved one's sudden death and the resulting grief. Pray that true justice will be done, and that in the meantime action is taken to prevent similar incidents from taking place in the future. Continue to remember the many Christians throughout Pakistan who face opposition from authorities and fellow citizens because of their faith.