Christian Activists Stage Hunger Strike Against Abuse of Pakistan’s Blasphemy Laws
09/13/2020 Pakistan (International Christian Concern) – According to the Union of Catholic Asian News (UCAN), Christian activists in Pakistan observed a day-long hunger strike to condemn the abuse of the country’s blasphemy laws. The demonstration came only a day after another Christian, Asif Pervaiz, was sentenced to death for allegedly sending blasphemous texts in 2013.
Shabbir Shafqat, Chairman of the National Christian Party, led a group of supporters in a hunger strike in front of the Karachi Press Club on September 9. The demonstration condemned both the abuse of the Pakistan’s blasphemy laws and the death sentence awarded to Asif Pervaiz.
“We strongly condemn the capital punishment awarded to Asif Pervaiz, who is being punished for refusing to convert to Islam,” Shafqat told UCAN. “There was no evidence to convict Asif. No proper investigation was carried out to establish the facts. Police simply acted on false accusations from the complainant.”
In Pakistan, false accusations of blasphemy are widespread and often motivated by personal vendettas or religious hatred. Accusations are highly inflammatory and have the potential to spark mob lynchings, vigilante murders, and mass protests.
Currently, 25 Christian are imprisoned on blasphemy charges in Pakistan, including Asif Pervaiz. These 25 Christians are defendants in 22 blasphemy cases represented at various levels of the judicial process in Pakistan.
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