January 22, 2012
ASSIST News Service reports that there are fears for the safety of a young Christian man falsely accused of blasphemy in Pakistan who says he has been tortured and beaten in prison. Khurram Masih, 25, was detained last month after being accused of burning pages from the Quran. "An angry mob of around 1,000 Muslims had blocked a road ... for three hours demanding his arrest; they damaged several vehicles and ransacked the local police station," said a spokesperson for Barnabas Fund. "Khurram said that he was badly beaten by the police after his arrest and compelled to confess to the act of which he was falsely accused. He added that he was not given anything to eat for three days." Khurram, who has been married for just three months, was denied bail Jan. 3 after a court hearing and is being held in prison in Lahore. "We fear for [his] life," a local church leader said. Pakistan's blasphemy laws, which are often used against Christians and other non-Muslims, punish desecration of the Quran with life imprisonment.