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Christian leader denied treatment in Pakistan

Jail authorities have failed to comply with a court order to give medical treatment to detained Christian politician

Updated: April 27, 2017 04:15 AM GMT
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Christian leader denied treatment in Pakistan
Aslam Pervaiz Sahotra (middle) waits for court hearing on April 22 in Lahore. The Christian leader has been denied medical treatment by jail authorities despite a court order. (ucanews.com photo)
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A Pakistani Christian political party has condemned jail authorities for failing to shift their detained leader to hospital for proper medical treatment despite a court order.

Aslam Pervaiz Sahotra, head of Massiha Millat Party (Christian Nation Party) and Human Liberation Commission of Pakistan, is on trial for the killing of two men mistaken as militants by Christian protestors shortly after twin suicide attacks on Catholic churches in Lahore on March 15, 2015 .

"Anti-terrorism court judge Sajjad Ahmed ordered jail authorities to provide treatment to Aslam Pervaiz Sahotra at the last hearing on April 22," Aftab Gill, Information Secretary of the Massiha Millat Party, told ucanews.com.

"We have submitted complete medical record to the court about the seriousness of Sahotra's spinal issues. Our party's head is having difficulty in sitting and walking," he said.

Gill said that the jail's medical team had said he needed two digital X-rays, but nothing was done by jail authorities.

"We strongly condemn the Kot Lakhpat Jail administration for denying Sahotra his right to medical care. We also demand that Sahotra be shifted to hospital without any further delay," said Gill.

In the 2015 attacks, two suicide bombers blew themselves up at a Catholic church and a Protestant church after Sunday Mass in Youhanabad, a Christian neighborhood. At least 15 people were killed and 70 were wounded. 

Following the blasts, enraged protesters formed a mob and killed two people suspected of involvement in the suicide attack. They were later identified as passers-by who had earlier been briefly detained as terror suspects by the police.

Sahotra was among dozens of Christians who were rounded up by the police after the riots and put on trial under terrorism clauses. Sahotra has pleaded innocence.

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