Pakistani Police Who Murdered Christian Teen Accept Guilt and Pay Restitution to Christian Family | American Center for Law and Justice
  Search  |  Login  |  Register

ACLJ Profile Completion

Verified

Pakistani Police Kill Christian Teen, Accept Guilt

By Shaheryar Gill1522823460000

Over the last several weeks, the Organization for Legal Aid (OLA), the Pakistani office of our international affiliate, the European Centre for Law and Justice (ECLJ), has worked diligently to secure justice for a Christian family whose teenage son was murdered by local police officers.

In October 2017, we first reported the tragic circumstances surrounding Arslan Masih’s death.  Because the accused were police and that Arslan was a Christian, the authorities were ready to look the other way but Arslan’s family protested by blocking the road to the police station.  Eventually, the authorities filed the charges and the officers were arrested.  The family sought help from our office who agreed to seek justice on their behalf.  

A few weeks ago, we reported a promising court ruling that denied one of the defendants’ bail.  Pakistani law prohibits bail where the defendant could be sentenced to death unless the allegation is without supporting evidence.  At the hearing, the prosecutor and our attorney on the ground, Khurram Maan, argued that this case does not fall within the exception because there is “tangible, convincing, and cogent evidence” of the defendant’s guilt. The court agreed and denied the Defendant bail.  This holding sent a clear sign to the defendants that they might be punished for Arslan’s murder.

Approximately a week after bail hearing, the defendants offered a payment of approximately $30,000 as restitution to Arslan’s family in exchange for a pardon. This sum is equivalent to several years of work for the poverty-stricken family. After considering all legal options, Arslan’s family agreed to pardon the defendants and receive the monetary restitution.

The Pakistani system, which is a mix of British common law and Shariah law, considers acts such as murder, battery, or assault as crimes against the person rather than against the State.  For this reason, under restitution (diyat) and an eye-for-an-eye or equal punishment (qisas) laws, the victim or his legal heirs can pardon an otherwise guilty aggressor with or without compensation.

Additionally, because of the high level of corruption in Pakistan, powerful offenders (especially police officers) use their influence to coerce and threaten victims in order to stop otherwise meritorious prosecution claims. This is particularly true in cases where the victim is part of the Christian minority.

In February 2016, we reported about a similar case where a Christian man was tortured and killed by police. The police officers accused of the heinous crime threatened the family with more violence if the claim was not dropped. Succumbing to the threats, the family dropped the charges.

In contrast, when the legal heirs pardon the defendants (with or without monetary restitution), it means that the defendants accept their guilt. For this reason, the outcome in Arslan’s case is critical to Pakistani Christians because it shows that justice is possible with the proper help.

Although, from a western perspective, this may not seem as an ideal form of justice, it is a significant step in places like Pakistan where a poor Christian family like Arslan’s would not be at a level playing field with the powerful defendants.

We hope this case will serve as a deterrent against Christian persecution as well as encouragement for Pakistani Christians to stand their ground.

Defend Dying Christians in Pakistan

Persecuted Church  Signatures

LOGIN

Receive the latest news, updates, and contribution opportunities from ACLJ.

$20
$40
$60
$120
$240
Make this a monthly tax-deductible gift.

As we aggressively fight in Pakistani courts to defend dying Christians, every donation (even $5) makes a difference & will be MATCHED. Have your gift doubled through our Matching Challenge.

Email Address is required.
First Name is required.
Last Name is required.
Credit Card Number is required.
Verification Code is required.
Expiration Month is required.
Expiration Year is required.
Receive the latest news, updates, and contribution opportunities from ACLJ.
Encourage your friends to sign and donate by sharing this petition.

Report: Christianity “Most Widely Persecuted Religion”

By CeCe Heil1565130501700

“Near genocide levels.” That’s how an alarming study recently commissioned and released by the British government described the current state of Christian persecution around the globe. The interim report , compiled by the Bishop of Truro the Right Reverend Philip Mounstephen states that violence...

read more

Appeals Court in China Upholds Conviction of Pastor Cao

By CeCe Heil1564085433957

After over a year of delays, the Pu’er Intermediated Court finally issued a decision in Pastor John Cao’s appeal. At 10 am on July 25, 2019, they announced that they were upholding the Menglian Trial Court’s wrongful conviction and sentence of 7 years imprisonment. Pastor Cao – a U.S. permanent...

read more

Demanding the Release of Leah Sharibu at the UN

By Paul Archuleta1562955960266

As we have previously informed the United Nations, children in Nigeria experience threats of torture, kidnappings, and even death by radical Islamic groups on a regular basis. Through our European affiliate, the European Centre for Law and Justice (ECLJ), we filed another written submission on...

read more

Defending Persecuted Christians at the United Nations

By Paul Archuleta1562877318204

Through our European affiliate, the European Centre for Law and Justice (ECLJ), we filed a written submission before the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) detailing the spread of religiously motivated attacks against Christians around the world. As we explained to the U.N.: Unfortunately,

read more