Christian Brothers Sentenced to Death Under Pakistan’s Blasphemy Laws
12/18/2018 Pakistan (International Christian Concern) – Two Christian brothers, Qaisar and Amoon Ayub, were sentenced to death by a court in Pakistan for allegedly posting blasphemous material on a website in 2011. On December 13, Judge Javed Iqbal Bosal heard the case in the Jhelum prison, declared the brothers guilty, and sentenced them to death.
The blasphemy accusation against Qaisar and Amoon stems back to offensive content that appeared on a website copyrighted in Qaisar’s name in 2011. Qaisar testified that he had shut down the website in 2009 but that a Muslim acquaintance, Shahryar Gill, resurrected the site keeping Qaisar’s name in the copyright. The accusation was made against Qaisar after he got into an argument with his friends at work in 2011.
Following the allegation, Qaisar and Amoon fled Pakistan for Singapore and then Thailand. When they returned to Pakistan, they were arrested in 2014.
Many human rights advocates criticize Pakistan’s notorious blasphemy laws as they are widely abused and incredibly harsh. False accusations are often made under the blasphemy laws to settle personal scores or incite mob violence, particularly against religious minorities.
Qaisar and Amoon plan to appeal their case, but that process could take years. Asia Bibi, a Christian woman recently acquitted of blasphemy by Pakistan’s Supreme Court, spent almost a decade on death row before being found innocent.
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