A Christian family in Pakistan claims their relative was murdered by police after refusing to change his testimony in regards to a crime he witnessed. The Christian family has filed charged against the police and the case has led to several local protests.
On June 22, several police officers, led by Arif Jutt, broke into the house of Waqar Masih, a Christian from Gojra, located in the Toba Tek Singh district of Pakistan’s Punjab province. There, the police attacked and beat Waqar’s father, Younas.
“Arif Jutt, a policeman, along with his others illegally barged into my house.” Waqar told International Christian Concern (ICC). “They searched for my father and threw him down from his bed. They beat my father with their guns and continuously kicked him in stomach. My father could not survive the torture and breathed his last immediately.”
Initially, police refused to register a First Information Report (FIR) against their fellow officers. However, an FIR was filed after the roads were blocked by protesters against police torture and the local media was informed. FIR 409/20 was registered against the officers involved in the killing of Younas Masih.
Waqar told ICC that his father was a witness in a murder case against a Muslim family. Therefore, policemen threatened him on many occasions and asked him to recant his testimony in exchange for a bribe. However, Younas refused saying, “I am a Christian and I will never cheat and get bribed.”
“My father’s deep commitment to his faith made the policemen aggressive,” Waqar explained to ICC. “During the attack, one of the officers shouted, ‘We will teach him a lesson for insulting us!’”
“We will never go for any agreement or compensation,” Waqar told ICC. “We want justice and protection of my family.”