From The Daily Mail U.K.
Video of lynch mob killing two teenage brothers sparks mass demonstrations across Pakistan
By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 7:00 PM on 22nd August 2010
A horrifying video of a crowd watching a mob beat two teenage brothers to death has sparked mass demonstrations in Pakistan.
The video, broadcast on Pakistani news channels, shows a lynch mob taking turns to savagely beat the two boys with sticks, drawing blood from them before dragging and hanging their dead bodies from a nearby pole.
But perhaps just as shocking is that none of the dozens of people and police watching tried to stop the vicious attack.
Left to hang: The brothers’ dead bodies were hung from poles after a mob, believing them to be robbers, beat them to death with sticks
It is now thought the boys, who were on their way to play cricket in Sialkot, an eastern Punjab province, may have been mistaken for robbers by the group who decided to deliver brutal justice for their supposed crime last Sunday.
The scenes have outraged Pakistanis, some who are questioning how their society could passively watch the shocking killings without intervening.
(Video at bottom of post)
The News, an English-language daily newspaper, wrote: ‘Is this what we are? Savages? So utterly bereft of a speck of humanity that a crowd of ordinary men are passive spectators to public murder?’
The government has responded to the attack after civic groups condemned the killings and youths held demonstrations.
As details have emerged authorities appear increasingly confident the two boys – Moiz Butt, 17, and his brother Muneeb, 15 – were innocent.
The two went to play cricket after praying and eating breakfast, carrying a bag with them containing game equipment, said Mujahid Sherdil, a top government official in the district.
Outraged and anguished: A group of youths hold a demonstration to condemn the killing of the two brothers by a lynch mob
They were sons of a middle-class man who deals in fabric for soccer balls. Moiz was honoured with the title ‘Hafiz’ for having memorized the Muslim holy book, the Quran.
An armed robbery had taken place in the vicinity of the cricket field so residents were on alert and police were nearby.
When the boys appeared with a bag they were thought to be the robbers Mr Sherdil said.
He added, however, that more information was still being sought.
The boys were believed to have been in fights over the past few days for the right to play on the cricket ground, which was about a mile from their home.
Stations showing the video blurred out some of the more graphic images of the boys’ bloodied bodies, but several faces in the crowd are clearly identifiable, including several police officers in uniform who watched.
Punjab province Police Chief Tariq Saleem said the government has ordered two separate inquiries into the killings.
‘This incident is highly condemnable, especially in the police presence,’ Saleem said after visiting the boys’ family. ‘All accused, including police, will be arrested soon.’
Calling for justice: A group of Pakistani youths have demanded justice for the two beaten teenagers
Federal Interior Minister Rehman Malik visited the family of the two boys Sunday in Sialkot and issued an appeal for citizens to come forward with evidence to help the
He said at least 10 suspects have been arrested, including four police officers.
Malik criticised the spectating police officers’ lack of action, saying they should have at least fired their guns in the air to disperse the crowd.
He also said the disgusted nation are baying for the mob’s blood.
‘It is not the kind of incident any civilized society can afford,’ he said. ‘The whole of Pakistan wants the people involved to be punished. And we are getting demands
from the nation that they should be hanged at the very place where they murdered the two brothers.’
The brothers’ killings came as Pakistan’s government is reeling from other crises, including the worst flooding in decades. The calamity appears to have further eroded confidence in the government.
One newspaper commentator Ghazi Salahuddin wrote that the Sialkot attack and the desperation of the poor caught in the floods that have ravaged the country are “rooted in the potential inability of the state to protect and look after the citizens.’
‘These things are possible because the successive ruling elites do not really love Pakistan,’ he wrote.
‘They have never loved this country and the present government does not deserve to be blamed more for its lapses than the previous ones.’
Over the past two years, police and even soldiers have been caught on video beating suspects. In 2008, in two separate incidents in less than a week, crowds set fire to suspected robbers in the southern city of Karachi.
In the first incident, a picture of men lying like logs in a fire made the front pages of newspapers.