Christian killed by two Muslims for defending sister from assault

A Christian man was murdered in Pakistan by two Muslim men after protecting his sister from assault, it has emerged.

32-year-old Arif Masih from the village of Tariqabad in the state of Punjab, was beaten, poisoned and loaded onto the back of a motorcycle before being tossed into the middle of the street to die.

According to the victim’s brother, their 18-year-old sister Rehana was harassed by two young Muslim men, Muhammad Tariq and Muhammad Majid, as she returned from the bazaar with milk on May 20. Rehana shook off the men and reached the family home however the two men broke into the house and got into an altercation with her brother, Arif.

The Muslim men allegedly took the girl, dragging her back to the bazaar where they tore off her clothing and mocked her.

Arif was encouraged by the district police to file a complaint against the two men which he did on the same day, however the men were not arrested. The accused then allegedly began threatening Arif in an attempt to intimidate him into dropping the complaint.

Locals reported that on May 23 the accused returned to Arif’s family home where they assaulted him, poisoned him and left him unresponsive in the street. Despite being taken to the local hospital, he died of his injuries.

On May 24, Arif’s family reportedly placed the victim’s body in the middle of a road in Faisalabad in protest. The demonstration brought traffic to a stop as they sought justice from the state’s chief minister and authorities for Arif’s death.

Human rights activist and leader of the Christian community Baba Intizar Gill called on the government to address the injustice many persecuted Christians experience in the predominantly Muslim country.

“The government must take prompt action against the guilty and protect the rights of minorities, considering them full citizens. These incidents against religious minorities are not new in our nation, but unfortunately the government never takes firm steps against the culprits.

“It is sad to see that up to now, none of the perpetrators have been arrested,” he added.