Pakistan: Officials torture Christian man into false confession of blasphemy

Wednesday, March 23, 2022

by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent

(Worthy News) - Cybercrime officials in Pakistan last week arrested a Christian man on a false allegation of blaspheming Islam’s prophet Muhummad, and then tortured him until he confessed to the crime he did not commit, Morning Star News (MSN) reports.

Fansan Shahid was at his home in Lahore on March 16 when officials of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) Gujranwala Circle arrived to conduct a raid just after midnight, MSN said.

Officers stormed into the home and began to beat up Shahid, accusing him of posting a blasphemous comment on Facebook in 2019: the officials said they had received the complaint of blasphemy from an Islamist cleric who is a resident of Sialkot District.

“When my husband opened the gate, over a dozen policemen rushed inside and started beating him up,” Shahid’s wife Sahia told MSN. “My two children and I screamed and cried as they tortured Shahid and searched the rooms.”

The officials seized Shahid’s phone, a photograph, and his national identity card and took him away, Safia told MSN. Concerning the false accusation against her husband, Safia explained: “We believe that the lost phone was misused by someone to post the blasphemous comment, because my husband did not use a passcode for its security, and his Facebook account was also logged in.”

Bail having been denied, Shahid remains in FIA custody in Gujranwala, MSN reports. Safia was allowed to see her husband briefly on March 17, when he told her officials had tortured him until he confessed. “Today, our entire family fasted and prayed for Shahid’s early release from this false accusation,” Safia Shahid told MSN. “Our faith is firm in our Lord, and I pray that He may have mercy on us and rescue us from this ordeal.”

Pakistan ranks 8th on the US Open Doors Watch List 2022 of the top 50 countries where Christians are persecuted.