Pakistani Christian Dies of Torture at Hands of Islamists

Friday, May 7, 2004

By Michael Ireland
Chief Correspondent, ASSIST News Service

FAISALABAD, PAKISTAN (ANS) -- A 23 year-old Pakistani Christian has died of injuries as a result of five days of severe torture by Islamic militants for refusing to convert to Islam, the UK-based Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) reports.

Javed Anjum, a Christian from Toba Tek Singh District, was tortured for five days and nights by Islamic extremists from a 'madrassa' or Islamic school in the district.

CSW reported the torture included electric shocks and burns from warm iron rods. He suffered 26 injuries. He was hospitalized for 11 days, and died at the Allied Hospital in Faisalabad at 2.12am on 2 May. Doctors said his kidneys had failed and he had undergone dialysis four times. His right arm was fractured, and electric shocks to his ears had affected his hearing. According to the doctors' report, "his bladder stopped working. Instead of urine, he was passing blood or pus."

Javed Anjum, from Quetta, was traveling to Pir Mahal, in Toba Tek Singh district, to attend a wedding, but went missing on April 16, 2004 before reaching Pir Mahal. His father, Parvez Masih, reported this to the local police and placed an advertisement on the local cable channels.

On April 22, 2004 Maulvis (mullahs) from the madrassa, the Jamia Hassan Bin Ali-ul-Murtaza, in Chak (village) 323 JB Tarandi, Toba Tek Singh district, handed Javed to the police, claiming that he was a thief who was trying to steal their water pump. The police refused to take him because he was badly injured and was not in his senses. Instead they called Javed's father and told him that Javed should be admitted to hospital immediately.

In his statement to the police before he died, Javed said: "I was searching for water near the Islamic madrassa when the Maulvis (mullahs) took me inside and told me that I was a thief and was trying to steal the water pump. I rejected the charge and told the Islamic leaders that I am a Christian youth and a student. I had come here to attend a marriage. As soon as the Islamic extremists came to know that I am Christian they asked me to convert to Islam. I refused and they started torturing me. They would continue the torture from night till morning. They tortured me badly and during the torture they continuously asked me to accept Islam."

CSW is deeply concerned about this case, and urges the Pakistani authorities to ensure that the perpetrators are brought to justice. The police have registered a case against one of the suspects, Moulana Ghulam Rasool, and several of his companions under 337/F6 of the Pakistan penal code.

Stuart Windsor, National Director of CSW-UK, said: "This is a tragedy, and is an example of the threat that Christians continue to face in Pakistan. We urge our supporters to pray for Javed's family, and to appeal to the Pakistani authorities to investigate this case and bring the culprits to justice. We also urge the international community to raise this case with the Pakistani government."

CSW is a human rights charity working on behalf of those persecuted for their Christian beliefs. We also promote religious liberty for all.

For more information, please contact Richard Chilvers, communications manager, CSW on 020 8329 0045 or email or visit