Pak: Blasphemy case acquitted gunned down. Asia Bibi remains on death row

March 26, 2014 by  
Filed under newsletter-asia

Advocate Sardar Mushtaq GillPakistan Punjab, March 25, 2014: A blasphemy case acquitted, Ashraf Gola , was gunned down near Pind Dadan Khan, some 250 kilometers from Lahore by unidentified men and died He was with a friend Iftikhar Ahmed in a car while they were traveling.

Sharafat Gola, his brother told the police that Ashraf Gola got threats of dire consequences by those who pursuing him, even after acquittal from blasphemy. Police have registered a case against the unidentified killers. The incident highlights how blasphemy accused are not safe in Pakistan even after being acquitted.

Advocate Sardar Mushtaq Gill,a human rights defender said  that Pakistan’s blasphemy law is often misused to settle personal scores and grudges specially against the weaker minority (Christians) of Pakistan. Last April, Younis Masih acquitted of blasphemy, who was languishing in jail since his arrest on 10 September 2005, was declared innocent by Lahore High Court by the DB of Justice Khaja Amtiaz Ahmed and Justice Khalid Mehmood Khan. Masih had  suffered a heart attack on 8 January ,2013 and he is still a heart patient. Masih said that he was still getting threats of dire consequences and was once also attacked by some unidentified men.

Asia Bibi, the Christian mother of 5 children convicted under the law of blasphemy in 2010 remains on death row in Pakistan and  a cleric in Peshawar had offered a reward of 5,000 euro to anyone who kills her. For now, the uphill struggle continues, the Pakistani court has reopened her appeal against the blasphemy conviction and death sentence which is fixed for tomorrow 26 March 2014 in The DB (Double Bench) of Lahore High Court Lahore.

“We are hoping for the best for Asia Bibi. However, her life will be in danger anyways, as extremist foot-soldiers will try to kill her if she is freed”, said Gill. “We also have the examples of two brothers, Rashid Emmanuel and Sajid Masih Emmanuel, both Christians accused of blasphemy, killed in cold-blood in front of the Court of Faisalabad, during their hearings, in July 2010.”

Here is an appeal to pray for Younis Masih ‘s safety, besides Asia’s acquittal and their safe relocation. It is also a request to to pray for all who are suffering in different Pakistani jails under allegations of the blasphemy law.

– lead

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