HRFP demands justice for murder of Nazir Masih, falsely accused of blasphemy in Sargodha

Following visits to the incident site on May 25 and May 26, HRFP's investigations revealed that the attack was rooted in a personal grudge by Muslim street fellows rather than actual blasphemy.


ANI | Updated: 03-06-2024 16:06 IST | Created: 03-06-2024 16:06 IST
HRFP demands justice for murder of Nazir Masih, falsely accused of blasphemy in Sargodha
Nasir Masih (Image Credit: HRFP). Image Credit: ANI
  • Country:
  • Pakistan

Human Rights Focus Pakistan (HRFP) has strongly condemned the brutal murder of Nazir Masih, who was attacked on 25 May 2024 in Sargodha city of Pakistan's Punjab. Following visits to the incident site on May 25 and May 26, HRFP's investigations revealed that the attack was rooted in a personal grudge by Muslim street fellows rather than actual blasphemy.

During the investigation, HRFP interviewed the victim's family, local witnesses, police officials, and medical staff. It was found that Nazir Masih, in critical condition from the start, received inadequate information regarding his health from the hospital administration, keeping his family in the dark. The HRFP Fact Finding Report highlights that on 25 May 2024, a violent mob attacked Christian families in Sargodha over false blasphemy allegations. Nazir Masih and his son, Sultan Masih, were accused of scattering Quranic pages in front of their shoe factory in Mujahid Colony.

The accusers incited a mob, including clerics and Islamic students, to attack them. The mob brutally assaulted Nazir Masih, Sultan Masih, and their families, causing severe injuries and vandalizing their businesses and homes. En route to the hospital, the mob attacked the ambulance, but it managed to escape. However, Nazir Masih's health remained precarious, with limited updates provided to his family. Despite being hospitalized, Nazir Masih was also under threat due to a First Information Report (FIR) filed against him under blasphemy charges (sections 295 A, 295 B) and the Anti-terrorism Act.

Although an FIR was also registered against 16 known and 450 unknown individuals, including 40 women who incited the mob, HRFP expressed concern over the lack of satisfactory outcomes from previous similar cases. HRFP President Naveed Walter has demanded that the perpetrators of this violent mob and their supporters be brought to justice. He emphasized that state agencies are aware of the Islamic groups and individuals targeting Christians and other minorities.

Walter pointed out that many FIRs against Christians for blasphemy have been filed by the same groups, yet no action has been taken against them. Walter urged the state to ensure the protection of minorities and take decisive action against those responsible for such violations. He warned that failure to address the real motives behind the false blasphemy charges could lead to more dangerous consequences in the future.

HRFP has also raised concerns about the recurring pattern of blasphemy charges, where Quranic pages are scattered near Christian homes or businesses, leading to mob attacks. HRFP has called for the repeal of blasphemy laws and demands justice for all blasphemy victims, including Sultan Masih and his family.

They urged that this case be made a test case to implement real reforms in policy and mechanisms to handle such incidents effectively. HRFP emphasised that the cycle of blasphemy charges and mob attacks on Christians must end now. (ANI)

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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