An 11-year-old Pakistani Christian boy who chose to work in a dangerous scrap factory to care for his mother and two brothers, was raped and tortured by his Muslim employers before he finally died on July 10, 2019.

His employers, Mohammed Akram and Irfan, were arrested in Sargodha after being charged with his murder on 14th July, 2019 in Rasheedabad, Faisalabad.

“I am very poor, but I have faith in God,” says Badal’s mother, Shareefan Bibi. “I will fight for justice till my last breath.”

Badal Masih worked at a scrapyard owned by a Muslim named Ifran. His employer was infuriated when the child told him he would no longer work for him. He was a “very obedient child,” says his mother. They “took his life for no reason.”

Badal lived in Rasheedabad, a district in Faisalabad. His father, Shahzad Masih, is a drug addict and does not work. The mother is the only breadwinner, employed as a domestic worker.

Given the family’s poverty, the boy was in his first year of formal schooling since his parents were unable to enroll him earlier.

To help the family, Badal decided to take a summer job at a scrapyard owned by a Muslim, not far from home, for 50-100 rupees (30 to 60 US cents) per day.

Badal’s father, Shahzad Masih (42), is a drug addict who drained the family financially trying to feed his addiction. His mother, Shareefan Bibi, works as a maid earning only 3500 Pak rupees every month – a very meager salary. Badil, being the oldest of three children, recognized the hardship at home and decided to find a job.

As such, as soon as his school, United Presbyterian School in Essa Nagri, ended, he found the job with Akram. He worked for Mr. Akram, as a scrap metal dealership for 100 Pakistan rupees a day – less than one dollar. He had barely worked for Mr. Akram for ten days before the incident happened, according to International Christian Concern.

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Getting to work and the work requirements were definitely difficult for a ten-year-old boy. He had to walk half a kilometer to work, and work from 9am to about 7pm before he returned home.

Two days before the murder, he came home extremely late with only half of what he was required to be paid. His mother instructed him to stop going to work because he was being cheated, but he persisted, knowing that his meager income could go a long way to help the family.

On the morning of the incident on July 9, 2019, he went to work with his brother, Moon, who was willing to assist him with some of his tasks. By the end of the day, Badil informed his employers that he will not be coming to work the next day because he was not being paid well. In what seemed like a wild-goose chase to Moon, who narrated the story to Pakistani Christian Post, Badil was finally caught and beaten up by Akram and Irfan for saying he was no longer coming to work.

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His almost lifeless body was left at his house and even though by the time Sharifa his mum saw him that evening, he was still alive, he passed away at the Intensive Care Unit at dawn – too battered to recover.

The mother filed a complaint against the two men. According to Shareefan, her son was also raped, but the autopsy did not find any signs of sexual violence.

Joel Amir Sohotra, a former Christian lawmaker, spoke to AsiaNews about the case. “I strongly condemn this inhuman act of extreme torture and alleged rape of a child,” he said.

“This is the sick mindset of a cruel society that does not see minorities and the poor as human beings and so tortures them if they refuse to obey because they think that no one will stand against them over these poor creatures.”

“Pedophiles,” he believes, “are ruining Pakistan’s image in the world. I call upon the government to take stern actions against the culprits and bring them to justice. They must be punished in accordance with the law.”

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Speaking about Balal, the mother remembers him “a very obedient child. He wanted to earn something to support me and the family. These cruel owners took his life for no reason.”

“My tears can only be wiped away if the culprits are punished harshly and pushed behind bars for the rest of their lives for the sin they committed against my innocent child.”

Pakistan ranks fifth on Christian support organization Open Doors 2019 World Watch list of the 50 countries where it is most difficult to be a Christian.

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