If you’re accused of blasphemy in Pakistan, your life is essentially over. If the governing authorities don’t get you, jihadist vigilantes will. This is a human rights issue crying out for the world community to address, but no one has the courage to do so, because doing so might offend Islam.
“Pakistani Christian Sentenced for “˜Blasphemy” Dies in Prison,” from Compass Direct News, March 15 (thanks to all who sent this in):
LAHORE, Pakistan, March 15 (CDN) “” A Christian serving a life sentence in Karachi Central Jail on accusations that he had sent text messages blaspheming the prophet of Islam died today amid suspicions that he was murdered.
Qamar David’s life had been threatened since he and a Muslim, Munawar Ahmad, were accused of sending derogatory text messages about Muhammad in June 2006, said David’s former lawyer, Pervaiz Chaudhry (See “Pakistan’s “˜Blasphemy” Laws Claim Three More Christians,” March 10, 2010).
David was convicted under Section 295-C under Pakistan’s widely condemned blasphemy laws for derogatory remarks against Muhammad in a case registered at Karachi’s Azizabad Police Station, with another case registered at Saddar Police Station pending. Maximum punishment for Section 295-C is death, though life imprisonment is also possible. On Feb. 25, 2010 he received a sentence of life in prison, which in Pakistan is 25 years, and was fined 100,000 rupees (US$1,170).
Chaudhry, who said he was David’s counsel until Islamic threats against his life forced him to stop in July 2010, told Compass that the Christian had expressed fears for his life several times during the trial.
“David did not die of a heart attack as the jail officials are claiming,” Chaudhry said. “He was being threatened ever since the trial began, and he had also submitted a written application with the jail authorities for provision of security, but no step was taken in this regard.”
Conflicting versions of his death by jail officials also raised doubts….