Pak rights body worried over police involvement in minorities' violence

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Lahore, Sep 17 (ANI): Increasing incidents of violence against religious minorities in Pakistan in recent months, especially Christians, and the apparent involvement of the police with extremists in perpetrating these crimes is a cause of grave concern for human right activists.

Joint Action Committee (JAC) for People's Rights has expressed its grave concerns over the increasing incidents of violence in Pakistan.

Senior human rights activists like Asma Jahangir, IA Rehman, Muhammad Tehseen, Nadeem Anthony, Shahtaj Qazilbash, Joseph Francis and Farooq Tariq stated this at a press conference here.

They said the recent 'suicide' of the 20-year old Robert Fanish in Silakot District Jail, who was charged with defiling of the holy Quran, raises strong suspicion of the involvement of the jail officials in his suspected murder, the Daily Times reported.

According to the JAC, similar incidents have taken place where the persons facing blasphemy charges died in jails and the authorities declared their deaths as suicides, but had the government carried out fair, transparent and thorough investigations into earlier cases of these deaths in judicial custody, it would have been a deterrent for the future.

They said the JAC had repeatedly expressed concerns at the attacks on non-Muslims over allegations of blasphemy and desecration of religious scriptures.

The JAC demanded that the government hold a transparent inquiry to determine the reasons for the alleged suicide of Fanish in Sialkot Jail and if it is found to be a murder, the criminals must be brought to justice. (ANI)

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