At issue: Victims of Pakistan's blasphemy laws

Thursday, June 18, 2020
 | 
Charlie Butts (OneNewsNow.com)

hands on prison barsPakistan continues to punish religious minorities on trumped-up charges. That's the conclusion of an expert knowledgeable on the practice.

A Pakistani Christian couple continues to wait on a court ruling on their conviction and death sentences on charges of blasphemy. William Stark of International Christian Concern explains they were accused of sending blasphemous text messages to an imam, who then reported them to authorities.

"The Christian couple are actually illiterate," notes Stark, "so they couldn't really text blasphemous text messages to this imam. [Secondly], the text messages were sent in English, a language both of them don't speak. So the idea that they sent English text messages to an imam is just really ridiculous."

The wife is currently imprisoned in the same prison and cell as was Asia Bibi, who also was condemned to death, won an appeal in 2018, and is currently in Canada. She was on death row in Pakistan for nearly a decade.

International Christian Concern logoStark highlights a recently released ICC report on victims of blasphemy in Pakistan.

"We actually profiled all the Christians that we could find currently in prison on blasphemy charges in the country, and the total number is 22 Christians that we've found who are currently serving sentences of some sort on a blasphemy charge," he laments.

According to that report, out of the 22 Christians 17 were adult men (two suffering from known mental disabilities), one was an adult woman, and four were minors.

Meanwhile, the Christian couple has been on death row for six years, waiting for a verdict on an appeal that was supposed to have been released June 3. That was delayed until Monday, June 22.

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