Image of Ghafoor Masih who continues to fight bravely for justice for his murdered son.
On 25th February 2020, Saleem Masih (22 years) was beaten to death for rinsing himself within a tube well that belonged to Muslim land owners in Chunian District, Kasur. Read original story (here)
In less than a year, the slayers of innocent Saleem Masih were set free on bail by the court and his hapless father Ghafoor Masih, is facing prejudicial treatment from the local police and judicial system.
Though elderly and frail, Ghafoor Masih never misses a court hearing and has travelled above 60 Km to reach the court hearings even though they are set early in morning. He said:
“In my old age, infirmity has crept up on me.
“I very rarely travel but I have had to travel long journeys in hope that I can obtain justice for my murdered son.”
“The courts have broken my heart by setting my son’s murderers free, but I continue to fight and pray for justice”
Earlier this week, Gafoor Masih called BACA operations manager and told him that someone named Sardar Nazar came to their house and threatened him to drop the case or face dire consequences. Sardar Nazar is an influential landlord of the area and has close connections with the murderers, Shera Dogar, Iqbal, Altaf. Ali, Mushtaq and Razaq. We have been advised that Sardar Nazar started a commotion at the gate of Gafoor Masih, he shouted:
“Do whatever the hell you want to do! You can’t pry off a hair out of our body”
“We have our men in the courts, Judges and lawyers are all ours, we have land, we have money, we have resources , we can financially settle with the judge as well.
“Choora [derogatory word meaning Christian sweeper] what will you do then?
“Quit this case for your safety and the safety of your family.”
Gafoor Masih shared more of his concerns regarding the case, he said:
“The Police have already been unjust with me.
“They forced me to sign blank papers and withdrew Ali and Shera Dogar from the FIR without my consent.”
“I can’t read and write so they duped me to sign blank papers”
BACA solicitor Sumaira Hussain has since taken over the trial. In a court hearing on 14th January 2021, she launched an application to add Ali and Shera Dogar to the original police First Information Report (FIR) and for them to face trail.
Advocate Sumaira Hussain, said:
“The police Investigation officer excluded Ali and Shera Dogar from the original report.
“It seems likely that Police may have received a heavy bribe for this prevarication.”
“Exclusion of Shera Dogar and Ali weakens the position of case – they should be brought to book.”
Juliet Chowdhry, trustee for BACA, said:
“Christians in Pakistan are often considered worthless by the majority Muslim population.
“Justice requires a real fight and only happens when charities front the cost of solicitors or Christian MP’s get involved.
“The reluctance of police to investigate crimes against Christians is based on prejudice, bribes or threats from the community (often led by Imams [Islamic clerics]).
“Sadly judges, politicians and people of high senior rank can often share this hatred of Christians – meaning Justice for Christians is rare.”
Please help us get justice for the many victims who we are providing legal advocates for in Pakistan. These court hearings and solicitor fees are necessary in our attempts to alter the course of justice in a country where Christians are often treated as anathema. You can find several way to donate by clicking (here)