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High Court in Pakistan upholds a death sentence for two Christian brothers charged with blasphemy

by Premier Journalist
Lahore High Court, Rawalpindi Bench.jpg - Banner image

The Lahore High Court in Pakistan on the 8th of June, has upheld the death sentence of two Christian brothers Qaiser and Amoon, in a blasphemy case.

The pair were accused of posting blasphemous contents on the internet and in June 2011, the complainant Muhammad Saeed submitted an application to Police Station, City Talagang to register a case against Qaiser and Amoon Ayub. 

Muhammad Saeed told police while browsing the internet, he saw blasphemous content posted by the older brother Qaiser.

Centre for Legal Aid, Assistance & Settlement (CLAAS) submitted an appeal to the High Court against the death sentence.

On the 28th of February, 2022 The Lahore High Court Rawalpindi bench comprising Justice Raja Shahid Mehmood Abbasi and Justice Chaudhry Abdul Aziz heard the appeal and reserved the judgment, which was announced on the 8th of June and upheld their death sentence.

Nasir Saeed, Director (CLAAS)-UK has said that the (CLAAS) team in Pakistan met the brothers in prison and when they were told about the decision of the high court.

Saeed said: “We all were hoping that because the court had reserved the verdict, and because they were taking so long to announce it, blasphemy charges against them would be dropped and both would be freed.

“But to the contrary, the High court upheld their death sentence. Both brothers were looking weak as they are already suffering from health issues.”

The Blasphemy law has a mandatory death penalty and has become a very sensitive and inflammatory issue in Pakistan. Mere blasphemy allegations often provoke mob violence and lynching of suspects while those who make false accusations of blasphemy are never asked questions.

 Religious intolerance has grown in the country, and people take the law into their own hands without hesitation.

Saeed said: “The brothers have signed the power of attorney, we are taking this case to the Pakistan Supreme court and are very hopeful that justice will be done and they will be freed. Unfortunately, we cannot tell how long it will take but we are hopeful that the country’s highest court will do justice.

 “This will be the 3rd case of blasphemy which will be heard by the supreme court.

“We still believe that the brothers are innocent and it has not been proved that they had published any blasphemous contents.”

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