Pakistani Christian Couple Had Legs Broken Before They Were Burned to Death

A photo of the Christian couple Shama Bibi (left) and Shehzad Masih, who were murdered in Pakistan after a mob accused them of desecrating a copy of the Koran (Cover Asia Press)
A photo of the Christian couple Shama Bibi (left) and Shehzad Masih, who were murdered in Pakistan after a mob accused them of desecrating a copy of the Koran (Cover Asia Press)

Shama Bibi, 24, and Sajjad Maseeh, 27, were killed for alleged blasphemy

A pregnant Pakistani woman killed alongside her husband for alleged blasphemy was wrapped in cotton so she would set alight faster, relatives who witnessed the horrific attack revealed.

Shama Bibi, 24, and her husband Sajjad Maseeh, 27, also had their legs broken so they could not flee the mob that locked them inside a brick-making factory before their murder.

The couple were surrounded by crowd of at least 1,200 and thrown on top of a brick kiln where they were burned alive, witnesses said.

‘They picked them up by their arms and legs and held them over the brick furnace until their clothes caught fire,’ family spokesman Javed Maseeh told NBC News. ‘And then they threw them inside the furnace.’

He said Bibi, a mother of four who was four months pregnant, was wearing clothing that did not initially catch fire, so the mob removed her from over the kiln and wrapped her up in cotton to make sure the the material would burn faster.

The killings were sparked by the mob’s belief the couple had desecrated a copy of the Koran. By the time the attack was over, only charred bones and the couple’s discarded shoes remained.

‘The bones are still being found,’ Javed Maseeh told NBC. ‘Friends keep on collecting them and bringing them to us in batches of two or three. We will bury these bones when we have enough for the bodies. But we will not find all of them, I’m sure.’

The gruesome incident took place yesterday in the tiny hamlet of Chak 59 near Kot Radha Kishan town, 60 kilometres southwest of Lahore.

The killing has sparked protests by Christians and outrage among rights activists, while police have arrested 44 suspects.

Jawad Qamar, a local police official, has now explained that local suspicions of blasphemy unfolded more than a week earlier with the death of Shehzad’s father, a local religious healer.

‘When he died, Shehzad’s wife went to his room and cleaned up the mess. There was a trunk in his room. Shehzad’s wife took the things that could be useful and threw the trash in front of her house.

‘The garbage collector collected the trash the next day and told a local cleric that he had collected pages of the Koran thrown in front of Shehzad’s house from the trash.’

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SOURCE: Mail Online
Darren Boyle, Sam Webb, Annabel Grossman and Corey Charlton

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