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Pakistani Christian beaten to death by police who tried to blackmail him

South Asia

Pakistani Christian beaten to death by police who tried to blackmail him

Photo credit: claas.org.uk

A Pakistani Christian was beaten to death after he confronted police officers who tried to extort money from his family. Waqas Masih, 25, was killed on 29 May in the courtyard of his uncle’s home in the Punjab.

Three policemen stormed the house and accused Waqas and several members of his family of being drug dealers. They stated they had come to raid the house to search for narcotics. According to reports, the three policemen have a reputation in the neighbourhood for blackmailing the poor and vulnerable.

Waqas confronted the officers and a scuffle broke out. The policemen then threatened to file false charges against the Christians.

When Waqas tried to run, the officers chased after him. He was punched, kicked and beaten to death with rifle butts. When his cousins tried to intervene the police threatened them. They left Waqas’ body in the street and then told his uncle that he should check on him, because he was “pretending” to be hurt.

The officers were eventually arrested after the Christian community announced they planned to protest. But at the time of writing, Waqas’ family are being pressured to agree to a “reconciliation” by police.