The Excessive Courtroom in Lahore, Pakistan on March 10 modified a convicted Christian’s sentence of life imprisonment to the demise penalty for allegedly sending a blasphemous textual content message 10 years in the past.
Morning Star News (MSN) stories the Christian’s sentence was revised following an enchantment for a prison code revision filed by the Khatam-e-Nabuwwat Discussion board (KNF) attorneys who have been searching for the demise penalty beneath the Muslim nation’s controversial sharia legal guidelines.
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Based 20 years in the past, the KNF is a widely known Islamist authorized group in Pakistan. On account of their concentrating on, the variety of blasphemy instances filed towards Christians and different minorities within the Punjab Province has elevated.
Members of the family of Sajjad Masih, the convicted 36-year-old Christian, mentioned Justice Malik Shahzad Ahmad Khan dominated in favor of the revised sentence after which despatched Masih’s enchantment to the following stage.
Masih’s enchantment of his 2013 conviction has been pending with Lahore’s Excessive Courtroom for the final seven years.
“Justice Shahzad has forwarded the enchantment to a division bench to keep away from strain from KNF attorneys, and it is most certainly that this enchantment, like different comparable appeals, will proceed to be delayed as a result of worry issue,” one supply instructed MSN.
Masih, a member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Gojra city positioned within the Punjab Province, was fined $2,000 and sentenced to life imprisonment in July 2013 for allegedly sending a controversial textual content message to a Muslim in December 2011. In accordance with Masih’s lawyer, there have been a number of holes within the prosecution’s case.
Numerous KNF attorneys appeared within the courtroom throughout a listening to on each Masih’s enchantment and the KNF petition. The tactic was designed to intimidate the choose listening to the case.
The attorneys instructed the choose “capital punishment was the one sentence for blaspheming towards Islam’s prophet,” in accordance with witnesses and Masih, “should be executed directly.”
Saif Ul Malook, a Muslim lawyer who has gained freedom for Pakistan’s most high-profile blasphemy convict, Aasiya Noreen (higher referred to as Asia Bibi), represents different Christians on demise row.
Few Muslim attorneys are keen to place their life in danger by defending an individual accused of blasphemy, significantly in the event that they belong to a minority group, Malook instructed Morning Star.
Final December, the USA Fee on Worldwide Non secular Freedom (USCIRF) launched a report titled Violating Rights: Enforcing the World’s Blasphemy Laws. The report examines the enforcement of blasphemy legal guidelines worldwide over a four-year interval. These legal guidelines criminalize expressions that insult or offend non secular doctrines, in accordance with the USCIRF.
The U.S. State Division on Dec. 7, 2020, re-designated Pakistan amongst 9 different “International locations of Explicit Concern” for extreme violations of non secular freedom. Beforehand Pakistan had been added to the checklist on Nov. 28, 2018.
Pakistan ranked fifth on the Open Doors 2021 World Watch List of the 50 international locations the place it’s most troublesome to be a Christian.