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ICC Note:

Pakistan’s blasphemy laws have been a tremendous source of persecution for Pakistani Christians. Technically, blasphemy laws are supposed to prevent the defamation of all religions in Pakistan, but they are used to terrorize religious minorities and protect Muslims. Human rights activist, Mehdi Hassan, recognized that religious influences involved in blasphemy cases can impair justice. Christians do not receive fair trials and are frequently falsely accused to settle petty disputes. Even if the legal system finds Christians innocent of blasphemy, the freed Christians must often face angry mobs.

09/25/2017 Pakistan (Christian Daily) – Christians in Pakistan who are accused of blasphemy often find it difficult to have a fair trial because of the emotive nature of the issue, according to prominent human rights activist Mehdi Hassan.

Speaking to Voice of America News, Hassan said cases which involve religious beliefs are often wrapped in controversy. In cases such as those of blasphemy, religious influence often has an impact on authorities handling the situation.

“In Pakistan, religious might is very influential,” Hassan explained, “and that thinking has an impact on police and other departments in such cases.”

Blasphemy covers any language or act deemed as a deliberate insult to God, Islam, or religious leaders. Those accused of this offense could face death or be confined to a life in prison if convicted.

Several days ago, a Christian man named Nadeem James was given the death sentence after he was accused of sending a blasphemous poem to his friend via the WhatsApp messaging app. The accused’s defense lawyer Anjum Wakeel said his client was “framed by his friend who was annoyed over James’ affair with a Muslim girl.”

 

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