Christian Dies in Custody in Lahore. Special Report.
11 Apr 2003
Christians in Lahore, Pakistan were shocked and angered by the death of Rehmat Masih on April 2. Rehmat was arrested on March 18, accused of stealing 300 law books. According to his family, Rehmat was tortured at the Sanha police station and then t
Rehmat was employed as a custodian at the Punjab Civil Secretariat (PCS) in Lahore. When 300 law books went missing, a member of PCS Law Department accused Rehmat and another Christian, Iqbal Masih. According to Rehmat's wife, he was illiterate and his only transportation was a bicycle, making the transportation of 300 books (which he could not even read) both impossible and ludicrous.
Following his death, the family brought Rehmat's body to the PCS office, demanding justice. Police cordoned off the area and pushed back the protestors. Rehmat's cousin, Boodi Masih was hit in the head with a police baton and died of his injuries.
According to Gulf News, Punjab Chief Secretary, Hafeez Akhtar Randhawa, has demanded an immediate investigation and has registered a case against Sandha Police Inspector Rana Mohammed, Deputy Secretary of Law Ghulam Mehdi and Camp Jail Superintendent Javed Latif. The PCS office is said to be quite shaken by the violence surrounding the protests and some officials are openly critical of the brutality by the police.