A Christian man arrested in Lahore for an alleged blasphemous what's app message sent to a friend has been sentenced to death on Thursday 14th September
Nadeem James who hails from the Father Colony of Sara-e Alamghir, in the district of Jhelum had an argument with a Muslim friend Yasir Bashir
on 4th July 2016. A few days later as the dispute simmered on, he was accused by Mr Bashir of sending a blasphemous poem by Whats app. Read full story (click here)
On the 10th July 2016 Nadeem was charged under sections 295c and 298a of the Pakistan Penal code - charges of blasphemy which have the penalty of death.
Nadeem James believes the allegation is false and contrived in revenge against him for marrying a Muslim woman who converted to Christianity. The pastor
who baptized the wife of Nadeem James had to flee their village after his brother was also arrested but later released without charge.
“My client will appeal the sentence in the high court as he has been framed by his friend who was annoyed over his [the accused's] affair with a Muslim
For the safety of all involved with this case the blasphemy trial was held inside prison. His solicitor Anjum Wakeel has already stated that Nadeem
will be appealing against the decision which can be heard at a High Court, after he has been detained for five years.
Asia Bibi, Pakistan's most famous blasphemy victim lost her high court appeal in 2014 after several adjournments (click here),
despite the judges admitting the trial was unfair and strangely saying afterwards that the decision was based on a technicality. Most human rights
activists believe that the 'technicality' was extreme fear of retribution from the millions of hardliners across the country, calling for Asia to be killed.
Asia is now awaiting a supreme court appeal after a dismaying failure by a judge to preside over her last hearing (click here).
The world now watches and waits but even then it does not seem the next hearing will come any time soon after an attempt to expedite the case was
rejected (click here)
Wilson Chowdhry, Chairman of the BPCA, said:
"The frightening aspect of this case is that despite the safety of a trial in prison, a district magistrate has ruled that Nadeem an obviously innocent man is guilty. This provides little confidence that Nadeem can ever see justice in Pakistan and we all know what that sadly means."
"In an increasingly Muslim-centric world in Pakistan, Christians find themselves the target for extremism, violence and selfish ambition. Nadeem James was an innocent man who fell in love with a local woman, after he married her all he wanted was to settle down and have children, then to provide for them. All perfectly acceptable goals.
"But in the twisted and evil culture that has consumed Pakistan, he found himself at odds with local Muslims who could not stand the fact that his wife had once been one of them and had converted. Rather then trust his god to take vengeance Yasir Bashir, fabricated a story that would remove the infidel who had caused an offence - from his sight. Ultimately this process of removal may lead to the death of beleaguered Nadeem James.
"Until this draconion law is removed from Pakistan no Christian can feel safe. It is not abuse of the law that is the problem - it is the law itself.
"No man-made law is ever required to protect God, as Christians we believe He is omnipotent. However this seems a theological concept to difficult to decipher for Muslims in Pakistan, who continue to espouse blasphemy laws despite no basis in quranic scriptures."