Doctors deny beating Christian man to death in Pakistan hospital

Doctors in a hospital in Pakistan deny beating a Christian man to death over a simple request for treatment. Suneel Saleem, 34, died after incurring injuries over an commotion with the hospital's staff.

(REUTERS/Jayanta Shaw)School children listen to a speech by a Christian leader during a protest rally after mobs ransacked a church and clashed with Christian villagers.

Saleem went to the hospital to see to it that his pregnant sister, Kiran, would get medical attention. Kiran claimed that when they got there, the hospital discriminated on her because they knew she's Christian as she wore a crucifix necklace.

Kiran also revealed that doctors shouted at her, hit her with documents and cursed at her. One even asked a nurse to "teach her a lesson" by injecting a dose that caused her pain.

When Saleem asked to be able to see his sister, hospital security guards took him to a different room with some doctors. The apparently proceeded to beat him up, leading Saleem to lose consciousness and incur several fractures. Unfortunately, he was not able to recover from the beating and died at the same hospital.

The family filed a police report that named Dr. Salman Haseeb and four other doctors for killing Saleem. Haseeb, who heads the Young Doctors Association (YDA), however, denied that they had anything to do with the Christian's death and has not yet been arrested.

"We belong to a noble profession and murder is a dangerous charge. The family is playing religious and ethnic cards to conceal the real facts. They are the real anti-state elements," the doctor said in a statement. "Our hospitals do not discriminate on the basis of nationality and faith," he added and cited that a number of hospital staffers are also Christians.

Haseeb also said that Saleem's family was the first to attack the guards. He, along with the other doctors, heard the commotion but insisted that no doctors harmed the family.

According to Open Doors, Christians in Pakistan increasingly suffer from discrimination, mistreatment and attacks. Each year, an average of 700 female Christians are abducted in Pakistan and become rape victims or unwilling brides of Muslim men.

These incidents have prevented Christians from openly professing their faith for fear of becoming targets of persecution. Authorities also regularly monitor Christian church activities and services.