By Joseph DeCaro, Worthy News Correspondent
ISLAMABAD, PAKISTAN (Worthy News)– A Christian accused of blasphemy died in a Pakistan prison from a treatable disease after he was denied medical care.
The autopsy indicated that Aslam Masih died from Dengue virus, but he was denied treatment by prison officials. Masih was arrested in early 2010 after two members of an Islamic missionary group falsely accused him of blasphemy; Masih was initially released on lack of evidence, but was later re-arrested after pressure from local Muslims.
In Pakistan, many Christians accused of blasphemy have either been killed in jail, or in court.
On March 15, Pakistani officials reported that Qamar David died of a heart attack, but his lawyer claimed he was was murdered. On September 20, 2009, Falish Masih was found dead inside his prison cell; despite severe wounds over his body, Pakistani police claimed Falish committed suicide, and on July 19, 2010, Muslims shot and killed Rashid and Sajjid Emmanuel outside a court house in Faisalabad.
“I condemn the prison authorities for not providing medical treatment to Aslam Masih and urge Punjab government to constitute (an) inquiry committee to investigate (the) death of Aslam Masih,” said Dr. Nazir Bhatti, president of the Pakistan Christian Congress. “The death of Aslam Masih in jail has raised questions of safety and security for the life of Asia Bibi, a Christian mother sentenced to death and in jail waiting for her appeal to be heard in Lahore High Court.”