Pakistani police last week tortured a devout Catholic to death in Punjab Province after the victim’s employer singled him out for a theft charge because of his faith, family members said.
Riasat Masih of Kalaskey village, Purana Kot in Gujranwala District, told Morning Star News that police killed his brother, 47-year-old Liaqat Masih, on Wednesday(Jan. 13) during interrogation in which he was hung upside down and beaten.
For more than a year Liaqat Masih had been employed as a driver for Raza Hameed, and several years previously for Hameed’s father, influential Gujranwala politician S.A. Hameed. Both Raza Hameed and S.A. Hameed were present at the police jail during the torture of Liaqat Masih, his brother said, adding that none of the employer’s Muslim employees were questioned about the theft last year of millions of rupees in cash and gold jewelry.
“Why was only my brother named and handed over to police custody, while the Muslim employees were not interrogated?” Riasat Masih said. “My brother had honestly served his employers for 15 years, but they did not even consider this fact before turning him in to police custody and asking them to torture him until he ‘confessed’ to the theft.”
Gujranwala Cantt Police arrested Liaqat Masih in mid-November 2015 after Raza Hameed registered a case against him (First Information Report No. 570/15). Riasat Masih said police had failed to produce any evidence against him or extract a confession despite torturing him last week during interrogation.
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