Court In Pakistan Overturns Death Sentence Of Two Christians Accused Of Blasphemy

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Court In Pakistan Overturns Death Sentence Of Two Christians Accused Of Blasphemy

Photo: Family Handout


A court in Pakistan has overturned death sentences passed against two Christians found guilty of 'blasphemy'. However, prosecutors wish to appeal the decision, which could see the two returned to death-row.


Both Shagufta Kausar and her husband Shafqat Emmanuel were convicted in 2014 on allegations that they insulted the Islamic Prophet Mohammed.


Ms Kausar was a caretaker at a local a Christian school before her arrest, whilst her husband is disabled.


It was claimed that the couple sent the 'blasphemous' text messages to a local Imam. Some have claimed that the couple does not know how to read and write and therefore could not have sent the messages. It is also claimed that a local neighbour, who was an enemy of the couple, could have sent the messages as a way of deliberately incriminating them.


It is believed that claims of blasphemy are often made against individuals to settle personal-scores or as a means of revenge.


Their lawyer said:


"I am very happy that we were able to get the release of this couple who are some of the most helpless people in our society."


Human rights organisations also praised the court's decision. An Amnesty International spokesperson said:


"Today's decision puts an end to the seven-year long ordeal of a couple who should not have been convicted nor faced a death sentence in the first place."


While no one ever been executed for blasphemy in Pakistan the law does carry the death-sentence. The fact the country has such laws has laid it out for severe criticism from the international community. Some of those who have had their blasphemy convictions overturned and have been released from prison after a considerable length of time have had to flee the country to escape the wrath of Islamic fundamentalist groups.


Several people have been murdered by individuals or angry mobs after being accused of blasphemy.


Christians, who make up 1.6% of Pakistan's population are particularly targeted by the code on blasphemy


[h/t: BBC]


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Thinking Humanity: Court In Pakistan Overturns Death Sentence Of Two Christians Accused Of Blasphemy
Court In Pakistan Overturns Death Sentence Of Two Christians Accused Of Blasphemy
A court in Pakistan has overturned death sentences passed against two Christians found guilty of ‘blasphemy’. However, prosecutors wish to appeal the
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