Pakistan: Two men beaten for refusing conversion to Islam

A Christian worker, Shera Masih, 26, was killed by a Pakistani Muslim businessman, in the city of Kot Ghulam Muhammad, near Hyderabad, in the province of Sindh. The man was brutally killed: he was tied to a car and dragged, then shot dead. His body was abandoned, and only 4 hours after his death the police arrived.

According to the Fides news service, businessman Faisal Kachhelo, the alleged murderer, is a wealthy landowner who employs a great number of both Hindu and Christian men. Kachhelo's employees suffer systematic suffer discrimination and humiliation. Now, after the crime, parliamentarians, politicians, the business man's friends are trying to cover up the case and save him. Victim Shera Masih's parents have now filed a complaint against Kachhelo; police have now arrested one of his guards, an innocent man, in his place. The boy's relatives and other Christians protested by blocking a main road for several hours, demanding justice and the arrest of the real killer.

The episode is similar to previous cases in which Muslim employers, and other persecutors, have been exempt from prosecution for oppressing the Christian and Hindu minorities. Even the murder of minority Pakistanis has gone without prosecution. It is the victims of crimes, rather than the perpetrators, who are frequently arrested and jailed.  For example, in recent days, two Christians, Amil and Jawed, were arrested by the police in Karachi, the capital of Sindh. They had been accused of stealing from their Muslim employer and then beaten. The accusation, the two report, emerged when they refused to convert to Islam. Only the intervention of the Christian MP Saleem Khursheed Khokhar in their favor allowed their release.

Spero News editor Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. He is also a freelance translator.


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