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Student Reportedly Raped, Killed in Pakistan

By Gar Swaffar     Jun 13, 2009 in Crime
A young Christian man was allegedly raped and murdered for refusing to convert to Islam, the victim's brother claims. Pakistani officials have disputed the claims of the victim's family.
Tariq "Litto" Mashi Ghauri, 28, was a university student with a Muslim girlfriend. Tariq was a Christian and unwilling to convert to Islam in the face of threats from his girlfriends brothers.
After being found in a compromising position with his girlfriend, Shazi Cheema, Tariq was told to convert to Islam, in order to marry the girl.
Tariq agreed to marry Shazi but insisted he would not convert to Islam to do so. For that crime against the Islamic community in the rural Pujab Province of Pakistan Tariq was allegedly kidnapped at gunpoint and held for four days while being tortured and eventually killed.
"They have sexually abuse him, torture him with a knife on his testicle and genitals," Ghauri's brother, 24-year-old Salman Nabil Ghauri, said. "They have tortured him very badly, and after that they have stabbed five times with a knife and killed him."
While the death has been ruled a homicide after being found in a canal by the police, the police have not contacted the victim's family, have not arrested the alleged killers and have not investigated the three accused brothers.
Pakistani officials have disputed the claims of the victims family by suggesting minorities are well represented in the Pakistani Parliment, but Christians comprise only a small portion of the 3% of the non-Muslim nations population.
Christians are generally in a low caste position in Pakistan and are often considered to be unclean. Rev. Bhatti, the minister of Tariq Ghauri had this to say:
The Rev. Bhatti says that radical Muslims frequently try to trap Christian men into converting to Islam by using a woman as bait — and Ghauri suspects the involvement of his dead brother's girlfriend in trying to entrap him.
"It's common to offer things — money, women — to Christians to convert," Bhatti said.
While freedom of religion is promised in the constitution of Pakistan, limits are placed on those freedoms.
From the U.S. State Department's 2008 International Religious Freedom Report on Pakistan:
"The Constitution states that 'subject to law, public order and morality, every citizen shall have the right to profess, practice, and propagate his religion.'"
The Ministry of Religious Affairs, which is supposed to protect religious freedom, has a verse from the Koran on its masthead, the report said: "Islam is the only religion acceptable to God."
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