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Excerpt from the book targeting of minority 'Others' in Pakistan

    However, “to date, the law has reportedly had little effect and is not uniformly enforced. Bail is generally not granted in blasphemy cases on the grounds that persons facing the death penalty are likely to abscond. Furthermore, prosecution of blasphemy cases is notoriously slow and suspects often ultimately spend lengthy periods in prison. Although some blasphemy convictions are overturned on appeal, first instance courts are often subject to intimidation resulting in, inter alia, a lengthy decision process and refusal of bail out of fear of retaliation from religious extremists”.cxxv Jahangir, Chairperson of HRCP, the blasphemy laws have ac...

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The targeting of minority 'others' in Pakistan "Blasphemy Law"

Excerpt from The Targeting of Minority 'Others' in Pakistan As for the blasphemy laws, they “are a true instrument of institutional violence and suppression on behalf of the state religion”, conclude Bouvier and Cosadia. Under Article 295 C of the Pakistani Penal Code, “anyone who desecrates the name of the Prophet Muhammad faces the death penalty. Members of religious minorities are harassed, tortured by the police or by inmates or guards while in prison, physically assaulted during trials, and heavily sentenced each year by the judiciary. The sentences”, as substantive documentation on the matter clearly shows, “are often based ...

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Excerpt from The Targeting of “ Minority Others” in Pakistan "Blasphemy"

Excerpt from the targeting of Minority 'Others' in Pakistan Concerning the shameful manner in which many Pakistani Christians and ‘Others’ are denied asylum in the UK, Nasir Saeed notes that: If any Westerner has any doubt as to the severity of the situation, they need only consider the accusation of blasphemy levelled against an 8th grade pupil at a school near Abbottabad because she misspelled a word in a class test. The school’s decision to expel her only proves the extent to which the blasphemy laws are being misused. Yet, the British Government appears almost determined not to let any asylum seeker in, no matter how desperate or endangered th...

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Rashid Rehman killed in targeted attack

MULTAN:A human rights activist and renowned lawyer of Multan, Rashid Rehman, was killed in a targeted attack in his chamber on Wednesday evening at around 8:30 evening. Rehman and his fellow lawyer were sitting with a client in their private chamber near Kutchery Square when unknown armed gunmen entered their chamber and opened fire on them, injuring Mr Rehman and two others. The injured men were rushed to Nishtar Hospital, Multan,where doctors pronounced Rashid Rehman dead upon arrival. The other two wounded are still receiving treatment and are said to be in critical condition. Rehman was representing Junaid Hafeez who had been accused of a blasphemy, and a le...

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MEP Jean Lambert Speaks out against Blasphemy laws and Asia Bibi's incarceration.

MEP Jan Lambert and Wilson Chowdhry Chair of the BPCA MEP Jean Lambert, Chairperson for the European Parliament Delegations to South East Asia, Japan and India and BPCA Chairman Wilson Chowdhry met to discuss the blasphemy Law of Pakistan. During the meeting they also discussed the failed attempts by the court system of Pakistan to hold an appeal hearing for innocent Christian victim Asia Bibi. The BPCA organised the meeting for Saturday 3rd May after Asia's received a fourth appeal court date, which is fixed for 22nd May 2014. Jean Lambert expressed her great sorrow for the ongoing prejudice faced by minorities in Pakistan. She explained that the European Parlia...

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Asia Bibi Appeal trial date set for fourth time.

This morning we received a text from Advocate Mushtaq Gill based in Lahore. He has informed us that the appeal hearing for Asia Bibi has been set for a fourth time and will now be heard on 27th May 2014. Many of our regular readers will no doubt be skeptical of this date and concerned that once again the presiding judge will fail to attend the hearing. That is why we ask concerned humanitarians of all faith to sign our petition below. The petition calls for the Government to ensure that judges are made to feel safe enough to allow justice to prevail in this ongoing saga for innocent Asia. We seek a Presidential Pardon for Asia if the judiciary is not bold enou...

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Text message allegations against Christian couple leads to further death sentences.

By – Shamim Masih ISLAMABAD: Today April 4, 2014, a session court in Toba Tak Singh announced two further deaths sentence for Christian couple, Shafaqat Emmanuel and his wife Shagufta Kauser. Both were caught up in a blasphemy law case for apparently sending sending blasphemous text massages to a local Imam in Gojra. Gojra is the same city in which seven people were shot dead and over 100 homes and two churches burnt to the ground, during 1st August 2009, in one of Pakistan' most severe attacks on a Christian community. This attack also lead to the formation of the BPCA. According to World Vision in Progress, additional session judge, Mian Amir Habib a...

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Muslim thug pistol whips Christian and three nephews for refusing to convert

Another case from the aftermath of the Peshawar bombing, which saw a swathe of blasphemy accusations in it's wake, alongside considerable solidarity from some parts of the Muslim community. In Islamabad a Boota Masih, described as a 43 year old 'low level government worker' (most likely meaning a cleaner or sweeper) was discussing terrorist attacks including the Peshawar church suicide bombing with his three teenage nephews and some Muslim neighbours when a man called Nadeem, known locally as a ruffian pulled up with accomplices on motorbikes. They joined in the conversation, but then Nadeem started to repeat the usual Islamic claim that Christians had corrupted th...

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Hundreds of Lahore Christians flee burning blasphemy mob

Mob member burns Christian Property (Photo from CNN) In yet another case of blasphemy allegations being used as a pretext to attack whole Christian communities, a mob of two to three thousand burned close to a hundred Christian houses in the Badami Bagh district in northern Lahore earlier today. The incident started when a Muslim man, Shahid Imran, accused a Christian sanitary worker, Sawan Masih (a man in his mid 20's aka 'Bubby'), of blasphemy. Imran claims that his friend Masih, twice over the last two days made blasphemous comments about the Islamic prophet, whilst Masih is reported as saying that the accusations came after he, Imram and another friend got...

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Update on case of Asia Bibi

Asia bibi the innocent mother of 5 who has been handed a death sentence for proclaiming her faith. This morning our Pakistan delegate Juliet Chowdhry spoke with both Sohail Johnson of Release International and Ashiq Masih (husband of Asia Bibi). The two of them seemed in good mood and are grateful for the support that the international community of all faiths is showing to Asia and her family. A former Session Court Judge (who's name we will not publish) is taking up the case and is confident that he will be able to revert the decision. In the meanwhile the BPCA has been in dialogue with Amnesty International and their Afghanistan and Pakistan Officer is looking...

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