Christian Pastor in Pakistan Charged with Blasphemy on Flimsy Evidence

ICC Note:

According to reports in Pakistan, Pastor Babu Shehbaz has been charged with blasphemy after pages of the Quran with his name scribbled on them were found in the street in Lahore. Charged under 295-b of Pakistan’s penal code, Pastor Shehbaz could face life imprisonment if convicted. In the report filed against the pastor, no one claims to have witnessed Pastor Shehbaz actually committing the crime. Often, accusations of blasphemy are false and used by rivals to settle personal scores or incite religious hatred. Due to pressure from mobs, police and courts often convict those accused with little to no evidence. Will the be the fate faced by Pastor Shehbaz? 

01/06/2017 Pakistan (Christian Today) – A Christian pastor from Lahore, the capital of the Pakistani province of Punjab, has been arrested by the authorities because he allegedly disrespected the Quran, the Muslim holy book, in an incident that happened recently in Nishtar Colony.

The only thing tying Pastor Babu Shehbaz to the alleged crime was a scribble of his name on the pages of the Quran, which was found on a street near a Christian locality in Kamahan village, according to Pakistan Today.

He was arrested after complainant Haji Nadeem got a First Information Report (FIR) registered against him. The FIR is a written document prepared by police organizations in Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan after they receive information about a cognizable offence.

However, Nadeem did admit that neither he nor anyone else saw Shehbaz writing his name on the pages of the Muslim holy book. He also admitted that he was not sure whether or not the pastor really did commit the crime or if he was simply framed up.

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