Iqbal Ahmad has been sentenced to life in prison. He will be fortunate if he isn’t murdered before too long. The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan is mentioned in this story, but where are the international human rights groups? From the BBC, with thanks to Robert R.:
Iqbal Ahmad, a member of the Ahmediya community, was found guilty of being disrespectful to the Prophet Muhammad in a mosque near Faisalabad….
Human rights groups have called the blasphemy laws draconian and say the burden of proof is too easy for the prosecution.
The laws cover offences against Islam, the Prophet and the Koran….
The Ahmediya community, to which Mr Ahmad belongs, professes allegiance to Islam but was declared to be beyond the faith by a constitutional amendment 30 years ago.
A spokesman for the community, Malik Khalid Masood, told the BBC that Mr Ahmad’s conviction was “an act of retaliation by his own family” who opposed his recent conversion to the Ahmedi sect.
In October, a Pakistani man was sentenced to life imprisonment for burning a copy of the Koran under the same laws.
The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan has in the past called for changes in procedures so investigators can test the validity of blasphemy accusations before cases reach the courts.
Analysts say judges are often too scared of the reaction from powerful local Islamic leaders to throw out cases.