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Image of Muslim protesters calling for hanging of Asia Bibi a Christian woman and Pakistan's most famous blasphemy law victim.
A nine year old boy and his mother narrowly escaped a blasphemy law death sentence after politicians and humanitarian groups intervened.
Inzam was at school when he was accused of having burnt a Koran on 20th October2016, his mother Shakil who works as a Nurse at Civil Hospital, in Quetta was arrested with him on 21st October after registration of First Information Report (FIR) 167.
The arrests were made without investigation on the testimony of a Muslim witness and was totally in accordance with the draconian blasphemy laws of Pakistan. A Muslim witness is given higher authority then non-Muslim testimonies under sharia law, these are Islamic laws that determine Pakistani law.
News of the arrests created huge community tension, however prompt police action prevented threats to the Christian community and the formation of a mob from becoming a full scale attack on an innocent Christian community.
Over the next four days local politicians and the BPCA have been clamouring for justice for the innocent mother and child. Four days by a miracle the two victims were released from Civil Lines Police station in Quetta on 25th October. The mother and child have expressed in no uncertain terms that they had been interrogated and suffered torture during their 4 day detainment. However despite their treatment they both did not confess to the crime of blasphemy.
Moreover, Police have confirmed that no evidence of any alleged Koran desecration was found.
Arrests of children and minors under the notorious blasphemy laws are not uncommon. In 2011 Faryal Bhatti was arrested for blasphemy after having incorrectly spelled a word during her Islamic Studies class at school. She was later set free however the family were forced to flee their home and are still living in hiding. (click here)
Image of Faryal Bhatti's error taken from Toronto Star
Last month Nabeel Masih a 16 year old was arrested for allegedly posting an image of the Kabba in Mecca on his facebook page. The crime should have received a maximum of a 10 year sentence, however in a recent ruling a judge has increased the charge meaning the terrified teenager could face death by hanging. (click here)
Wilson Chowdhry, Chairman of the British Pakistani Christian Association, said:
"The blasphemy laws of Pakistan serve no purpose but to cause pain and anguish to innocent victims. They are used as tools for discrimination and to settle personal vendettas. International bodies like the UN turn a blind eye to the impact of such laws to the detriment of global society. Their failure to respond is simply creating schism and animosity and the rise of Islamophobia, despite the fact most liberal Muslims despise the laws themselves. Pakistan's refusal to reform or abrogate these laws should be recognized as a contravention of human rights especially freedom of religion, conscience and free speech. Action must be taken now before Pakistan a nuclear nation reaches a point of no return, especially considering the whipping up of hatred towards minorities that Imams in Pakistan use the laws to generate."