Angry protests after death of Pakistani in Germany
13 May 2006 , ISLAMABAD - Hundreds of Islamists took to the streets in Islamabad on Friday to protest the death of a 28-year old Pakistani, Amir Cheema, in German police custody in Berlin earlier this month.
13 May 2006
ISLAMABAD - Hundreds of Islamists took to the streets in Islamabad on Friday to protest the death of a 28-year old Pakistani, Amir Cheema, in German police custody in Berlin earlier this month.
The protesters, who were around 1,000 in number, demanded Pakistan's government expel Germany's ambassador from the country and announce an economic boycott of Berlin as a mark of protest at what they called Cheema's murder at the hands of the German police.
Organized by Jamiat Ahl-e-Sunnat (JAS), a grouping of Sunni Muslims in Pakistan, the protest remained peaceful and no untoward incident took place.
Speaking to furious protestors, leaders of the JAS and the six-party Islamic opposition Alliance, Mutahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) - Mufti Mujeebur Rehman, Qari Gul Rehman and Khalid Khwaja - claimed the German police subjected Amir Cheema to torture in jail.
Two senior Pakistani investigators were continuing inquiries in Berlin Thursday into Cheema's death in police custody.
One of Germany's top pathologists, Volkmar Schneider, performed the autopsy Wednesday, which found that the injuries were consistent with suicide and there was no evidence whatever of anyone else hurting Cheema, a prosecutions spokesman said.
A resident of Rawalpindi, Cheema was arrested in Berlin on March 20 after he reportedly tried to enter the offices of the German newspaper Die Welt and was accused of trying to kill its editor in chief, Roger Koeppel, because the newspaper had printed caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed.
German police said they had also recovered a knife from Cheema, who was a student of textile engineering in Moenchengladbach and had gone to Berlin to see relatives.
"The German government should take note of highhandedness of the Berlin police and bring to justice all those involved in Cheema's killing," the leaders said.
They said Cheema should have been tried in a court of law had he really attacked the newspaper editor. "But instead of trying Cheema, Berlin police officials killed him," they claimed.
Police say Cheema hanged himself with a noose made from his own clothing.
Anti-German slogans were shouted at the protest while the JAS and MMA leaders delivered fiery speeches. The protestors also burnt German flags.
Germany offered Pakistan full cooperation in the inquiry and delayed the autopsy till the two officers of the Federal Investigations Agency (FIA) from Islamabad could attend it.
Karin Schubert, Berlin's minister of justice, said a thorough inquiry had disproved suspicions voiced by the Pakistani protesters that Cheema might have been tortured to death.
Subject: German news