Younis Masih, a Christian man from Lahore was accused under the Strict Blasphemy laws on 10th Sept, 2005.
Younis Masih a father of four was living in Kainchi Amer Sidhu–Lahore. On the night of September 9, 2005, Younis Masih went to the house of his Muslim neighbor Baba Chaby. It was midnight and Qawali music was playing (Muslim religious Sufi Songs). There was an event being held at the house and the music was playing very loudly. Younis requested Baba not to play the music so loudly because his nephew had died and the loud music was causing a disturbance.
Baba Chaby apparently refused to turn down the music. When Younis Masih reaffirmed his request, the local Muslim men who were in attendance became angry and abused him and refused to turn down the volume. Younis returned home without incident.
The next morning, the Muslim men who had been listening to the music discussed the issue with other local Muslims and created an anti-Christian environment in the Colony. After a few minutes local Muslims began to search for Younis Masih. They found him in a local Billiards club and started beating him with sticks until he fell on the ground and became unconscious. His wife tried to stop them but she was also badly beaten, and her clothes were torn to shreds.
The attackers left him for dead. His wife and cousin managed to take him home. When Younis Masih came to his senses, his wife and cousin took him to the local police station to register a complaint against the attackers. The Station House office of Factory Area Police station in Lahore promised to hold an investigation regarding this incident.
While Younis and his wife were in the police station, the announcements were being made in area mosques, inciting the local Muslims to attack and burn Christian houses in the Colony, stating that a Christian man Younis Masih had committed blasphemy and used derogatory remarks against the Prophet of Islam.
After hearing that, hundreds of protesters carrying sticks attacked the houses where Christian lived. More than 100 Christian families fled the area to save their lives. The angry mob surrounded the Factory Area police station and demanded the case to be registered against Younis Masih and they refused to leave until they were shown a copy of a First Information Report (FIR) or criminal compliant.
After knowing the gravity of the situation, Police registered a case against Younis Masih under section 295-C, bearing FIR number 723/2005, on 10th September, 2005 after getting the copy of the FIR the Mob dispersed.
The police arrested Younis Masih and his cousin Noble Masih, who were already sitting in the police station lodging their complaint with police against the attack on Younis at the billiard hall. The police took Younis Masih and his cousin into custody and tortured them brutally. Younis Masih was then sent to Kot Lakhpat jail in Lahore.
On the 30th May, 2007, Younis Masih was given a death sentence and a fine. In 2007, the Advocate who was defending Younis Masih left Pakistan due to threats from the Muslim clerics who were following the case of Younis Masih.
In January of 2013, while in prison, Younis Masih suffered a severe heart attack and was moved to the government hospital. On 3rd April, 2013, Younis Masih was set free by the Lahore high court, after spending eight years behind the bars. Finally, Younis Masih was able to get his freedom.
An NGO (Non-Government Organization) that was defending his case gave him shelter for one month, and later on they left him to fend for himself with no job or resources to move ahead with his life.
Younis Masih was still receiving the threats from the banned Islamic extremist organizations and requested Rescue Christians to help him and within NO time we relocated him and are now helping him rebuild his life.
He is not the only victim who was accused, first by the Muslim fanatics and then was left by unscrupulous organizations that take money from the public and Western donors, yet do not provide the proper support for the victims. This is an even greater tragedy than the treatment meted out by the Islamic extremists. Our work always makes us different from others as our aim is to support and help our persecuted Brothers and sisters in the Islamic World until the victims have the ability to rehabilitate themselves.
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