Pakistan Rights Groups Seek Answers On Christian’s Death

September 16, 2009

Author: Waqar Gillani and Sabrina Tavernise

Source: The New York Times

A Christian man detained on blasphemy charges was found dead in his jail cell on Tuesday in eastern Pakistan. Human rights groups here said he appeared to have been killed, perhaps in collusion with the authorities.

The death of the Christian, Robert Fanish, 20, is part of a rising trend of violence against minorities in Pakistan, a panel of Pakistani human rights groups said in a news conference on Wednesday. It follows the burning deaths of six Christians in July, and mob attacks against Christian houses and a church in March and June.

“This is a pattern,” said Asma Jahangir, the chairwoman of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, a prominent watchdog group that is independent of the government.