Open Doors USA confirms the unsettling circumstances surrounding the torture and death of a 28-year old gardener in Pakistan.
Police took Amir Masih into custody on August 28. Three days later, says Isaac Six of Open Doors USA, he was dead. “What’s shocking and brutal about this is that it was carried out by the authorities and that it was done so blatantly. The family was able to pick up Mr. Masih after he’d been tortured for days. He was alive for a few hours to tell his story to the family before he passed away. “
Justice for Amir?
Mr. Masih’s employer accused him of theft, which led to the arrest. As for due process? Christians in Pakistan face widespread discrimination and religious intolerance. They often face false accusations with little to no recourse or protection.
In this situation, Six says, “The evidence is blatant that there was terrible torture done here, and it looks like the authorities are investigating, which is good. But often in these cases, there’s no accountability for those who are responsible. That’s the thing we’re following closely.”
While the case garnered widespread attention, Six cautions, “That doesn’t mean that they necessarily will be justice. Sometimes after the attention blows over, everything sort of fades away, and it becomes harder to really hold people accountable.”
The attention could complicate justice. “A lot of Pakistani society has been radicalized, and I want to quantify that a bit, but there’s a number of very powerful groups that are very fanatical about a very radical form of Islam, and they hold a lot of sway. So even when the government or others want to do the right thing, it’s sometimes very difficult to do that.”
Citing Asia Bibi’s case, he reminds us, “Just the hint that she would be released and then that she might be able to leave the country led to tens of thousands of people in the streets rioting and calling for her to be executed.” Death threats plagued court officials, and Bibi’s lawyer eventually left the country.
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SOURCE: Mission Network News, R.B. Klama