FIA officials force me to rape my cousin or abuse myself; shameful alleges by victim
LAHORE: At a time when the ancient Colosseum of Rome was lit in red on Saturday in solidarity with persecuted Christians in Pakistan, a source of huge embarrassment for Pakistanis, another heinous incident of brutality and immoral act surfaced in Lahore, the capital of Punjab and centre point of ruling political party PML-N.
Civil society activists have demanded an “independent inquiry” into the alleged torture of a Christian man, accused of committing blasphemy, and his cousin at the hands of the Federal Investigation Agency’s (FIA) Cyber Crime Unit, read a statement issued on Monday. Patras Masih, a resident of Shahdara, Lahore, was arrested by police last week for allegedly posting blasphemous content online.
The arrest was made following a day-long agitation by hundreds of people including activists of Tehreek-i-Labaik Ya Rasool Allah (TLYRA) and other religious parties.
The allegations were being investigated by FIA’s Cyber Crime unit that had summoned Patras’ cousin Sajid Masih for questioning on Friday. However, the interrogation came to an unlikely end when Sajid jumped from the fourth floor of the building and was severely injured.
The hospital authorities on Sunday said Sajid’s condition was “stable” while a case was registered against him for attempted suicide at the Civil Lines police station. In a video statement to the media, Sajid accused the FIA officials of torturing him and snatching his phone.
The video went viral and the allegations levelled by Sajid against FIA are very shameful and heinous. He claimed that he had jumped because the investigation officers ordered him to “sexually assault” Patras.
“They asked me to abuse myself, but I refused to do so. Later, they asked me to sexually assault my cousin, but I remained silent and jumped from the building,” he had said. Following Sajid’s allegations, FIA Director General Bashir Ahmed Memon ordered a probe against the officials named. Khalid Anees, the FIA’s cybercrime head, had said that the director general had constituted a team, led by Syed Farid Ali Shah, to conduct an inquiry against Inspector Khalid Saeed Shah, forensic department official Ali Afroz and two other officials for their alleged involvement in torturing and abusing Sajid Masih during interrogation.
Farid Shah visited Sajid Masih at the hospital on Sunday afternoon and recorded his statement. The statement issued by Digital Rights Foundation and co signed by several other Human rights organisations including HRCP condemned the incident and called for effective oversight of law enforcement agencies to hold them accountable and prevent abuse of power. It also demanded that the police withdraw the case registered against Sajid for attempted suicide. Meanwhile, FIA Deputy Director Khwaja Hammad rejected the allegation and said the suspect was called for inquiry because he was a member of the Facebook group allegedly involved in sharing blasphemous material.
He said the suspect was asked to unlock the phone as a result he got panicked and jumped from the building. “No one had even touched the suspect,” he said. He said they did not go for breaking the password because it could cause data loss.