Pak student dies in German custody

Islamabad, May 5:

A Pakistani student who was arrested for allegedly trying to hurt a German newspaper editor for publishing Prophet Muhammad cartoons has died in custody in Berlin, a Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said today.

Tasnim Aslam identified the student as Amer Cheema, but would not say exactly when he had been arrested. She said an initial report from Berlin suggested that Cheema hanged himself at a prison, and added that Pakistan was trying to get more details.

“So far we only know that he had been detained for allegedly trying to hurt the editor of a German newspaper in Berlin, and his trial had not started yet,” she told The Associated Press.

Ellen Goelz, a diplomat at the German Embassy in Islamabad, said she had no information about the student although she had seen media reports. Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry had not contacted the embassy about it, she said.

According to Pakistani media reports, a hardline Islamic lawmaker Mian Aslam met with Cheema’s father in Rawalpindi, a city near the capital, on Thursday and promised to raise the issue in the parliament.