Date: September 16, 2016
By Dan Wooding, Founder of ASSIST News Service
FAISALABAD, PAKISTAN (ANS – September 16, 2016) -- A 14-year-old Pakistani Christian boy has been raped and murdered and his dead body was left hanging from a tree in a Gosh Nagar, close to Faisalabad.
According to the British Pakistani Christian Association (BPCA), the victim, Zeeshan Masih, was visiting his uncle’s cattle farm at Shreejan Wala Dhera on August 23, 2016, and had gone out to buy a soft drink, but never returned home. He was later found hanging dead from the branch of tree only a short distance from where his uncle’s buffaloes would go out to graze.
“Despite medical evidence that Zeeshan had been sexually molested and some witnesses implicating two unknown Muslim men, local Police initially registered Zeeshan’s death as natural and not suspicious,” said BPCA.
“The Deputy Superintendent of the Sadar Police Constabulary, Saleem Warraich has stated that Zeeshan died of a heart attack, which he claimed was induced by drinking a soft drink after eating fruit.”
Despite forensic evidence and a few witnesses local police has made little progress towards resolving the case. After pressure from the BPCA, local church Christ Assemblies International and Bishop Farhad Bhatti of the Pakistan Christian Post, and the local police authority, have now agreed to register a First Incident Report (FIR).
Senior House Officer (SHO Farooq Ranja) and DSP Saleem Warraich have assured the BPCA lead reporter, Kanwal Amar, that the FIR will be filed after the DNA report is received. The DNA report is scheduled to be released after one month.
Kanwal Amar said, “This family are deeply traumatized. They have lost a son to an extremely heinous crime and the chance for them to get justice is limited. The manner in which police officers have attempted to camouflage this crime has hurt and angered them. They are calling for an independent inquiry into the handling of their son’s death.”
Wilson Chowdhry, Chairman of the BPCA, said: “The brutal nature of the crimes inflicted on Christians in Pakistan is the product of their vulnerability and the warped minds that breed in the nation. The levels of rape, sodomy and murder in Pakistan are reaching unprecedented levels. Christians and other minorities are a natural target as they are disenfranchised by the country’s laws and statutes, which confer second-class citizenship upon them.
“In the main, Christians are poor, illiterate, and hold a pariah status culminating in an ineffectual response from statutory authorities when help is needed, who deem them worthless. No amount of laws can ever change a deeply entrenched community mindset that believes Christians are anathema – so crimes like this will continue and justice will fail time after time.”
The funeral of Zeeshan took place on August 24th and BPCA have offered to compensate the family for the cost of the funeral. They would also like to raise funds for the family to have a legal advisor who will ensure the police investigate this murder as far as possible. If you would like to contribute, please click here: http://www.
For more information on this, and other cases in Pakistan, please go to: http://www.
Photo captions: 1) The dead boy’s body laid out. 2) The tree where he was hung from after being murdered. 3) Wilson Chowdhry. (The Guardian). 4) Dan Wooding with his BPCA award.
About the writer: Dan Wooding, 75, is an award-winning winning author, broadcaster and journalist who was born in Nigeria of British missionary parents, and is now living in Southern California with his wife Norma, to whom he has been married for more than 53 years. They have two sons, Andrew and Peter, and six grandchildren who all live in the UK.Dan is the founder and international director of ASSIST (Aid to Special Saints in Strategic Times) and also the ASSIST News Service (ANS). He is the author of some 45 books, and has been a full-time journalist since 1968. Dan has a weekly radio show and two TV shows in Southern California, and has been honored with a special award from the BPCA for his long-standing reporting on the persecution of Christians in Pakistan.