The U.S. is being asked to intervene in the case of a Pakistani who stands falsely accused of blasphemy.
Yaqoob Bashir Masih, a young man who is mentally handicapped, was charged with blasphemy and falsely accused of burning the Koran in Pakistan. Muslims surrounded him, doused him with kerosene, and threatened to set him on fire if he did not confess his guilt, so he did and was sentenced to life in prison.
"The poor young man doesn't have the mental capacity to understand what he was doing or what he was dealing with and essentially was put into an impossible situation where he didn't understand what was happening," reports Matias Perttula of International Christian Concern (ICC). "But the court deemed that irrelevant in Pakistan and gave him life in prison anyway."
A member of Canada's Parliament, Garnett Genuis, has written a letter intervening on the boy’s behalf, and the U.S., which has a friendly relationship with Pakistan, is being asked to use its influence to overturn the decision. But even if the courts are compelled to rule in his favor, Pertulla laments that Masih will not have much of a life in Pakistan.
"Even though someone might be acquitted completely from the charges, or the charges are proven false, they still bear that stigma, and they're ruined for life essentially," he tells One News Now. "It's almost impossible for them to have a fair shot after that happens."
In some cases, Christians have been murdered after being acquitted or after the guilty verdicts against them were overturned. Even some judges who issued such rulings have been murdered for doing so.