Christian man tortured by police in Pakistan, held in custody

Monday, May 3, 2021

by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent

(Worthy News) - A Christian man in Pakistan was tortured by police into confessing to a false allegation of blasphemy, and then illegally held in custody for two months before being presented to a judge, Morning Star News reports. Salamat Mansha Masih was arrested, tortured, and detained in Lahore after Muslims heard him reading the Bible in a park on February 13.

Under Pakistani law, 26-year-old Masih was to have been brought before a judge within 24 hours of his arrest, MSN said. Contrary to the law, the police held him at three different police stations until finally bringing him to court on April 16. During the two months of his detention in police custody, Masih was prevented from seeing his family and was tortured into confessing he had ridiculed Islam and its prophet by reading the Bible in a Lahore park.

“During this period, he was kept in at least three different police stations and illegal torture cells, where he was mentally and physically tortured to confess to the baseless accusation,” Masih’s attorney Aneeqa Maria of The Voice Society told Morning Star News. The police also repeatedly threatened to kill him, Maria said.

“When we were finally able to talk to Salamat in private at the District Camp Jail in Lahore on Friday [April 23], he told us that he had suffered immense torture and verbal abuse during his illegal confinement,” Maria reported. “The police investigators forced him to admit to blasphemy. They also tortured him into naming other members of the Bible study circle.”

The authorities have refused to take action regarding the attacks and threats made by police against Masih.“This is a serious human rights violation, yet no one seems to be bothered about it,” Maria said. Masih’s case continues and it is not expected he will be granted bail.