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Pak Christian activist fears for life for taking legal action against police over religious remarks

Islamabad, Sat, 28 Jan 2012 ANI

Islamabad, Jan 28 (ANI): A Christian human rights activist in Pakistan has expressed fears that he could be targeted by the police for initiating legal proceedings against them for making derogatory remarks about his religion.


The Express Tribune quoted Waseem Shakir, as saying that two of his associates have also filed independent petitions, alleging harassment by the police.


Shakir also said that ASI Riaz had contacted his younger brother Faheem Masih and asked him to convince Shakir to withdraw the petition against the police.


Riaz, Shakir alleges, told his brother that Shakir would be killed in an encounter if he did not withdraw his complaint. Shakir says that two Special Branch officials had contacted him and pressured him to withdraw the petition.


"They threatened me dire consequences if I did not and gave examples of Human Rights activists being killed across the country," Shakir said.


Shakir's complaint states that on December 31, 2011 Shakir, Javed Iqbal and Sajjad Ahmed were stopped at the Kot Addu bypass by six policemen, including two-Inspector Muhammad Akbar and Assistant Sub Inspector Riaz Bhatti.


Bhatti is alleged to have searched the car thoroughly because it belonged to a Christian, and also allegedly detained them for two hours. Shakir claims the policemen further abused their religion.


On January 3, the Kot Addu police registered an FIR against Shakir, Tariq Masih, Gul Muhammad Bhatti , Ahtisham Khurram Masih, Sehat Masih and Khalid, accusing them of attacking the police. Police say that they tried to arrest Tariq Masih and Shahid Masih for bootlegging but they opened fire on the police party. According to the FIR the raiding policemen were also beaten up. (ANI)


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