A man and his pregnant wife have been severely beaten in Pakistan, after being charged and arrested for a crime they say they did not commit.
Local police in the dominantly Muslim region of Abbottabad reportedly interrogated the Christian couple, after being accused of theft.
Although the pair claimed their innocence, the police demanded they confess to the crime before beating them both so severely that the wife was hospitalized.
Salma Emmanuel, 30, said to be five months pregnant, begged for mercy as she was repeatedly kicked and punched, according to Compass Direct News.
"They continued to try to force me to admit to the crime, even threatening that they would kill my baby, but I refused to confess a false allegation.”
Many were outraged after learning that police bribed Salma’s husband, 39-year-old Emmanuel Rasheed, after brutally beating him.
After refusing to take responsibility for the alleged theft, police gave him the option of converting to Islam.
“A policeman offered to remove the theft charges against me if I was willing to renounce Christianity and convert to Islam,” he said, Compass Direct News reported.
Rasheed declined, and later his wife revealed that it was their religious "faith" that provided them with strength to endure the horrific incident.
Although police were forced to release Emmanuel after three days to receive hospital treatment, they have denied any physical abuse or torture.
The couple is healing after their release, but await bail hearings next week.
According to a Christian rights advocate, Pakistan is notorious for illegal and unjust treatment toward Christians.
The theft accusations came from Emmanuel's employer, who accused the maid of stealing her jewelry.
Evidence against the couple has not been found, and the couple will fight to prove their innocence.