ISLAMABAD: On March 27, a sessions court in Lahore sentenced a Christian man – at the heart of the controversy that triggered riots – to death for blasphemy.
After a week, on April 4, 2014, a sessions court in Toba Tak Singh announced death sentence for a Christian couple, Shafaqat Emmanuel and his wife Shagufta Kauser, accused of sending blasphemous text massages.
According to World Vision in Progress, additional sessions judge Mian Amir Habib had announced the death sentence for a Christian couple accused of blasphemy.
Last year, on July 21, 2013, crippled Shafaqat Emmanuel and his wife Shagafta Kauser were arrested under first investigation report (FIR) No 407/13 under Section 295-B & C, for allegedly sending blasphemous text massages to the local Muslims. WVIP reported that neither the SIM card was registered with their names nor the couple was qualified enough to write these text in English. Furrakh H Saif, chief of WVIP managing the case, said in a statement that hypocrisy and the shallowness of our legal system stands exposed. “As usual, the lower court has gone with the populist, Islamist stance on a sensitive blasphemy case and kicked the ball down the road to the high court. The blasphemy law will continue to bed evil Pakistan as long as they are on the statute books and local courts remain susceptible to fear of or coercion by violent extremists,” he said.
In this situation we fear that Pastor Adnan and Asif Pervaiz could be other victims of our Pakistani extra-judicial killing, he added. A recent report from a US government advisory panel said Pakistan used blasphemy laws more than any other country in the world; listing 15 people on death row and 19 others serving life sentences. In January 2014, an elderly Briton was sentenced to death for blasphemy; though his lawyers said that court failed to consider “overwhelming” evidence of his mental illness.
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