Police in a village in Pakistan have denied knowledge of the existence of a post-mortem which shows that a 14-year-old Christian boy was raped, then strangled. Instead, they say he died of “natural causes” by drinking a sugary drink after eating fruit.
Zeeshan Masih, a resident of Ghos Nagar, Chak 224 RB, on the outskirts of Faisalabad, was found dead on 23 August. His body was hanging from a tree.
Masih was illiterate and helped his father on a farm, taking care of cattle belonging to another man.
“We are poor and Christian, so that is why the police are brazenly denying facts – and to save the culprits,” his father, Sarfaraz, 45, told World Watch Monitor.
Sarfaraz Masih said the death of his son had caused “unbearable pain” for the family, and that it was frustrating that the police were not helping them. The legal documents prepared by the police describe Zeeshan as 16, but his family insists he was only 14.
The police are one of the most widely feared, complained against, and least trusted government institutions in Pakistan, lacking a clear system of accountability and plagued by corruption at the highest levels.