Court orders medical examination for all prisoners detained with Indriyas Masih who died in Jail
After the of death Indriyas Masih on 21 August CLAAS-PK moved an application in the court of Mr Sajjad Ahmed, Judge in the Anti-terrorism court of Lahore for the medical examination of all 41-prisoners detained in the Youhanabad case.
The lawyer said that as Indriyas was living with other co-accused and there was no proper medical treatment available, there are concerns that some other prisoners may be suffering from the same or other ailments.
The court subsequently issued directions to the superintendent of Kot Lakhpat jail, ordering the medical examination of all prisoners who were detained with Indriyas Masih in Kot Lakhpat jail.
Indriyas Ghulam 33, was accused of lynching two men suspected of being involved in the attack on Youhanabad in March 2015. He was the father of three children and was the youngest among his six brothers and sisters.
He died in jail on 13 August 2017, due to Gastrointestinal Tuberculosis, it is claimed.
But his family and the community protested and demanded the government to treat this incident as a murder case, claiming his untimely death was a result of negligence on the part of jail authorities, poor prison conditions, consumption of unclean water and food.
His deteriorating health was continuously neglected by the jail authorities. According to the family, Indriyas was a healthy person and never had any major ailments before he was arrested.
He was the sole earner of the family and a labourer on daily wages prior to his arrest in 2015. In hope of a better life and income, he moved from Bahawalpur to Lahore five years ago. His monthly income was roughly 7000 Pak Rupees. He lived in Gulu Kot 2-3 kilometres away from Youhanabad.
Nasir Saeed, Director CLAAS-UK expressed his concern over the death of Indriyas, saying it is very upsetting that Christian prisoners are not considered human beings.
He said: “They have to face discrimination and are treated inhumanly in the prison too. It is believed that Indriyas died because of negligence and poor medical facilities in the prison.”
Indriyas was falsely accused of lynching two men who were suspected of being involved in the twin church attack in Youhanabad in 2015. Over 500 ‘unidentified’ Christians were booked, while 84 Christians were later arrested. 42 were granted bail (many because CLAAS’ of support) and 42 were held in jail.
In March this year these 42 Christians were asked to convert to Islam. The Deputy District Public Prosecutor Syed Anees Shah guaranteed their acquittal if they renounced Christianity – despite one of the accused insisting he would rather be hanged that convert. Nasir Saeed said it is a very unfortunate situation.
He added: “They’ve been suffering in jails for a very long time while all of them denied their involvement in the lynching of two suspect Muslims.”