World News

Christian sanitation worker tortured in Pakistan

35 year-old Christian sanitation worker Yasir Masih was tortured in the Gujjarpura area of Lahore, Pakistan on the 25th of May.

Muslims beat the Christian man and left him chained to a chair outside in the extreme heat for not immediately complying with their request.

His father-in-law, Hussain Masih, who found him there, recalled the incident: “Masih’s entire body was badly bruised, and he was chained to a chair. When he regained some strength, he told us that Malik Khadim Hussain, a resident of Gujjarpura, his son and three others had held him hostage and tortured him for not immediately obeying their order to collect the garbage and sweep the doorstep of their house. Masih told Malik Hussain that he would do what was needed as soon as he finished his official work and got free. After some minutes, when Masih went to Hussain’s house, he told him to go on the roof and clean it. When Masih went to the roof, Hussain, his sons and the other men attacked him with iron rods, punches and kicks. When they left Masih alone, he found a chance to escape, still chained to the chair. He tripped down the stairs and dragged himself out of the gate into the street, where he collapsed. Some passers-by recognized him, which is how we also got information about his whereabouts.”

When Masih did not arrive at his designated work area, his supervisor and family got worried. They started a search for him and fortunately found the Christian father in time. His family and friends initiated a protest at the Lahore Press Club, requesting registration of a First Information Report (FIR) and that the police arrest the perpetrators. Later, Malik Hussain and two others were detained, though his sons had escaped. 

Masih’s father-in-law stated: “We only want justice for Masih. He was persecuted because he had delayed an order from the influential Muslim landlords. Though the police have registered an FIR, we appeal to senior officials and our community leaders to ensure that all the accused are arrested, prosecuted and punished for their barbaric act.”

According to Christian socio-political activist Sunil Gulzar: “Christian sanitation workers work long shifts even in extreme weather conditions to keep the city clean. However, despite their dedicated services, these workers are often ridiculed and mistreated because of their Christian faith. It seems that sanitary workers are children of a lesser god. They often face salary delays and no job security. They are discriminated against even by their Muslim colleagues, and now we are witnessing incidents of physical violence against these weak people.”


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