Published: 00:00 GMT Standard Time - Thursday 17 February 2011
Pakistani Muslims accused of killing Christian employee
Country/Region: Pakistan, South and East Asia
Hundreds of local Christians took to the streets in protest after police refused to register the suspected murder of a young Christian man.
Map showing the location of Pakistan
The 24-year-old was allegedly killed by his Muslim employers in Gujranwala district, Punjab Province, Pakistan, on 6 February.
The driver, who had been married for just eight months, failed to turn up for work on 5 February because of illness. When he returned to work the following day, he is said to have been tortured and killed by his employers, who then hung him from the ceiling. They told his father that he had committed suicide.
After the police refused to lodge his father's murder complaint against the influential Muslim suspects, hundreds of local Christians staged a protest, blocking traffic for several hours.
Following this, the police did register a murder case against three Muslim men, but it remains to be seen whether they will face prosecution for the offence. And even when cases make it to court, Pakistani Christians are often denied justice when the perpetrator is a Muslim.
A Pakistani church leader said that incidents against Christians are increasing at an alarming rate, especially in Central Punjab, with the perpetrators roaming freely after having killed or robbed. He added, "Most of them have not been reported because of the influence that local landlords have in the areas, and the influence of local MPs. They hold police and judges in the palm of their hands... Christians are not safe."
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