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Pakistan: diocese demands answers in death of Catholic accused of blasphemy

Catholic World News - March 17, 2011

The Archdiocese of Karachi is demanding answers from prison officials following the prison death of Qamar David, a Catholic accused of blasphemy.

“Given that he was accused of blasphemy, he was often badly beaten,” says Father Mario Rodriguez, the national director of the Pontifical Mission Societies. “The [official] story of a heart attack is unconvincing.”

“I am convinced that David is dead due to beatings by staff and other inmates,” said Haroon Barkat Masih, who is representing Asia Bibi, another Christian accused of blasphemy. “The police and the hospital board want to cover up the true cause of death. Because of poverty and fear, the families of the victims often do not ask for new medical examinations and do not have the courage to denounce the prison authorities.”

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