Suspect in Lahore blasphemy case fighting for his life
A Christian resident of Lahore says he attempted suicide as interrogators forced him to perform oral sex on cousin.
Publisher: Al Jazeera
Date Written: 03/03/2018
Year Published: 2018
Resource Type: Article
Cx Number: CX22784
Christians and other minorities, who make up about two percent of Pakistan's 207 million population, are disproportionately targeted by blasphemy laws, which prescribe a mandatory death penalty for anyone found guilty of "defiling the sacred name of the Holy Prophet Muhammad". There is increasing violence associated with the laws, with at least 74 people killed in attacks motivated by blasphemy accusations since 1990.
Sajid survived, however, and the circumstances that led to his attempt to take his own life remain heavily disputed.
Hours after the incident, Sajid recorded a video statement testifying that he had been heavily beaten during his interrogation, with police officials accusing him of having committed blasphemy.
He alleges that FIA officials attempted to force him to perform oral sex on Patras, his cousin.
"They took off Patras' pants, and [
] that's when he jumped out of the window," Aneeqa Maria, lawyer for both men, told Al Jazeera.
"To escape all that humiliation and all that torture. He thought that it is better if I die, rather than do this."