The 19-year-old boy, whose name was changed into Peter for security reasons, was murdered by the girl's father and two uncles in what they described as an 'honour killing', Christian family members and investigators said.
Peter and the 19-year-old girl apparently began their relationship through mobile phone chatting, an increasingly popular way of communicating among youngsters across Asia.
Interfaith contacts and marriages between Christians and Muslims are allowed under Islamic law, but such relationships are often opposed by Islamic clerics and hard-line Muslims, according to religious rights investigators.
The troubles for Peter apparently began when the girl's family forced her to call him and invite the boy to a secluded location. Peter reportedly immediately hired a motorbike to reach the area, but he would not find his girlfriend. Instead, her father and two uncles awaited the boy and allegedly beat him to death.
PETER BY FORCE
"They took Peter by force. They trussed him and tortured him for almost two days. Peter could not bear the severity of the torture and died eventually," said Joseph Francis, who leads rights group Center for Legal Aid, Assistance and Settlement (CLAAS), which gives legal support to reportedly persecuted Christians in Pakistan. The Muslim family could not be reached for comment.
CLAAS lawyers say police have so far rejected to register the case as murder and are describing it as suicide. "The police were prejudiced, because it was a matter of religion," Francis added. CLAAS made clear it would try to seek justice for Peter's family in a local court.
"Sadly, all too often, Christians in Pakistan are treated as substandard citizens with few civil liberties under the law,” the group said in a statement. "That prejudice is [reflected] by the obvious negative response by police. [We want] to see that [they are] impartial, regardless of religion." The group said it had urged supporters to "pray for Peter's family" and for "awareness" among to end "dividing human beings in different classes."
CHAIRMAN CONDEMNS KILLING
The chairman of Rays Of Development Organization (ROD), Ferhan Mazher, told BosNewsLife that his Pakistani human rights group has "condemned the killing of a Christian youth for merely talking to a Muslim girl on a cell phone."
Mazher stressed that ROD is involved in efforts to "eradicate" the "honour killings" from Pakistan's society. “In Pakistan live people of diverse faiths...Honour killing is a menace for the country,"
He said ROD wants to help make Pakistan a country of "interfaith peace, love, tolerance and harmony."
(Jawad Mazhar is a Christian journalist covering and investigating persecution from the most difficulties areas of Pakistan. As everyone at BosNewsLife, he currently raises his own financial support to make his ministry possible. Will you help him? Please prayerful consider any donation to: 'Rays of Development Organization'
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