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Christian man dies after alleged police torture in Pakistan

Amir Masih, a gardener from Lahore's PAF colony was summoned to the North Cantonment police station after being accused of theft by his employer, according to religious freedom charity Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW).

Masih's family reported that Amir was taken to an undisclosed location where he was beaten and tortured by several police officers.

Three days after Amir was summoned by police, the family filed a case of forced disappearance.

They were informed by police that Amir had fallen ill and needed immediate medical attention.

CCTV footage has since emerged reportedly showing two police officers dressed in civilian clothing transporting Masih to Service Hospital in Lahore, where he was kicked several times by the officers before being taken inside.

He was later pronounced dead.

A post mortem has since revealed that there were torture marks all over Masih's body.

Amir is the third person to die in police custody in Pakistan's Punjab province this month.

CSW's Chief Executive Mervyn Thomas said: "We extend our heartfelt condolences to the family of Amir Masih. His treatment while in custody of the Punjab police is deplorable and the officers responsible for his death must be held accountable.

"This case again highlights the vulnerability and marginalisation of Christians who suffer abusive treatment and discrimination at the hands of law enforcement officials."

Christians continue to face discrimination and violence as a minority group in Pakistan. Police authorities have been repeatedly criticised for their mistreatment of and prejudice towards Christians.

Pakistan is ranked number 5 on the Open Doors' World Watch List, a ranking of 50 countries where it is most difficult to leave as a Christian.

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