“The defendant claims his ‘sim’ card, which operates the phone, was taken and misused by some colleagues who had some disputes with him.” The Pakistani blasphemy laws are used to victimize countless people in this way. They should be the focus of human rights organizations worldwide, who should be demanding that they be repealed. But instead, this ongoing stream of cases is largely ignored — any other course of action would be “Islamophobic.”
“Pakistan Christians Facing Death Penalty,” from BosNewsLife, October 16:
LAHORE, PAKISTAN (BosNewsLife)– Three Pakistani Christians are facing a possible death sentence on what a lawyer says are “trumped up charges” of “blasphemy” against Islam, while other Christians are reportedly forced to become Muslims.
Among those detained is Asif Pervaiz who was arrested in the city of Lahore on October 2 after allegedly sending mobile phone text messages with “abusive language against Muslims, Islam, Prophet Mohammed and the Koran,” said lawyer Sardar Mushtaq Gill, who is involved in the case.
“The defendant claims his ‘sim’ card” [sic], which operates the phone, was taken and misused by some colleagues who had some disputes with him.”
Prosecutors reportedly said they have strong evidence against the Christian.
Yet, “I believe his innocence can be proven if the investigation is fair by just checking the location from where the sim card was used,” added Gill, who is also director of advocacy group Legal Evangelical Association Development (LEAD).
Two other Christians, identified as Pastor Adnan and Mushtaq Masih, the owner of the New Diamond Glass Shop in Lahore, were also behind bars Wednesday, October 17, for allegedly writing “derogatory remarks” about Islam.
“The remarks were allegedly written between texts in a book about Islam in the shop. But I believe we can prove the defendants were not responsible for those making these filthy remarks.”
Security forces are also searching for the pastor’s brother, Arfan Masih, and briefly detained a man with a similar name, Gill told BosNewsLife. “They raided the house of Arfan Amin. We could help him to be freed after proving he wasn’t the person they were searching for,” the lawyer explained.
He said in all cases the Christians are falsely charged with violating the most sensitive articles of Pakistan’s controversial blasphemy legislation, “which can mean they faith death bu [sic] hanging.”
Additionally, devoted Christians have been targeted by Muslim militants, Gill explained.