Tue. Jun 18th, 2024

Christian, 74, beaten and stoned to death after he was accused of ‘burning the Koran’

Tyler Mitchell By Tyler Mitchell Jun3,2024

A Christian pensioner in Pakistan beaten by a mob after he was accused of burning pages of the Koran has died of his injuries, according to reports. An angry crowd surrounded the home of Nazir Masih and his son in the city of Sargodha, Punjab, on May 25 amid accusations they had desecrated Muslims’ Holy Book.

Mr Masih’s family denied the allegation of blasphemy but the 74-year-old was allegedly punched, kicked, and stoned.

The businessman’s shoe factory was also reportedly torched, with 12 members of Mr Masih’s family managing to escape.

He was left with severe injuries and his son beaten before the police arrived and rescued the pensioner, who was rushed to hospital in a critical condition, according to reports.

Other news outlets claimed local police failed to intervene, though they have denied this.

Disturbing footage of the attack shared online shows people gathering in large numbers in a street of Sargodha, believed to be Mr Masih’s home. Smoke can be seen rising nearby.

Another video shows blood from a head wound and Mr Masih covered in dust. Express.co.uk has not been able to independently verify the footage.

UCA News reported more than 200 families fled the neighbourhood after the attack, with half that number said to be Catholics. Reports emerged on Mondy (June 3) that Mr Masih subsequently died of his injuries.

One hundred people were arrested by local police, with cases filed against more than 400 suspects under Pakistani anti-terror laws, UCA News reported.

According to Reuters, the independent Human Rights Commission of Pakistan has said the lives of the Christian community were “at grave risk at the hands of the charged mobs”.

Blasphemy is punishable by death in Pakistan, although according to the same news agency nobody has been executed by the state for it. The country’s blasphemy laws have been abused to settle scores, Reuters has reported.

The Catholic Bishops Conference’s National Commission for Justice and Peace urged officials to secure the safety of Christians in Punjab.

Tyler Mitchell

By Tyler Mitchell

Tyler is a renowned journalist with years of experience covering a wide range of topics including politics, entertainment, and technology. His insightful analysis and compelling storytelling have made him a trusted source for breaking news and expert commentary.

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