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(Compass) – A Pakistani court in Faisalabad has sentenced a mentally handicapped Christian to life in prison, declaring 26-year-old Shahbaz Masih guilty of blasphemy against the Quran. Despite medical evidence of the defendant’s manic-depressive condition, Judge Mohammed Shahid Rafique announced the sentence on September 25. More than 60 Muslim clerics and their supporters, many of them armed, were present in the court room. Muslim cleric Qari Mohammed Rafiq accused Masih of tearing up leaflets containing verses from the Quran and scattering them at a shrine near Faisalabad . Article 84 of the Pakistan penal code prohibits the conviction of a person who suffers “unsoundness of mind,” according to defense lawyer Khalil Tahir. “But because of pressures from the Muslim clergy and religious fanatics, the judge has announced his verdict against an innocent, mentally retarded young man,” Tahir said. The attorney plans to appeal the sentence before the Lahore High Court within the next few days.