BIG BREAKING NEWS – ACQUITTED: High Court has acquitted 2 Christians sentenced to death under blasphemy laws [#PakistanPersecution #ChristianPersecution] 06/03

BIG BREAKING NEWS – ACQUITTED: High Court has acquitted 2 Christians sentenced to death under blasphemy laws [#PakistanPersecution #ChristianPersecution] 06/03

Lahore High Court has acquitted Shafqat Emmanuel and his wife Shagufta Kausar, 2 Christians sentenced to death under Pakistan’s blasphemy laws.

The acquittals end a nearly eight-year legal struggle that saw the Christian couple jailed separately on death row.

On June 3, 2021 Justice Syed Shehbaz Rizvi and Justice Anwar-ul-Haq of Lahore High Court acquitted Shafqat Emmanuel and Shagufta Kausar after almost 8 years in prison for allegedly committing blasphemy through text message.

“I am just happy to get justice for this couple.”
– Saif-ul-Malook, the couple’s attorney

June 18, 2013:
Muhammad Hussain, a Muslim cleric at a mosque in Gojra received blasphemous text messages from a phone number allegedly registered to Shagufta Kausar.

Muhammad Hussain reportedly showed these text messages to his lawyer, Anwar Mansoor Goraya, who claimed to later receive further blasphemous messages from Shagufta Kausar, written in English.

July 21, 2013:
Shagufta Kausar and Shafqat Emmanuel were arrested and charged with blasphemy under Sections 295-B and 295-C of Pakistan’s Penal Code.

Shafqat Emmanuel claims that, in order to extract a false confession, Gojra City Police tortured him in front of his wife and children.

The Christian couple claims that Muhammad Hussain’s accusation is motivated by a minor quarrel between the couple’s children and their neighbors, which took place 6 months before the accusation.

Shagufta Kausar claims that Muhammad Hussain conspired with a friend to steal her National Identity Card and used it to purchase a SIM card in her name.

Using this SIM card, Muhammad Hussain sent blasphemous text messages to himself.

Throughout the investigation, little evidence was produced against the Christian couple.

Police were unable to recover the SIM card or the phone allegedly used by Shagufta Kausar to send the blasphemous text messages.

The blasphemous messages were also written in English, a language which neither Shagufta Kausar nor Shafqat Emmanuel speak.

Despite this lack of evidence, the Sessions Court of Toba Tek Singh sentenced both Shagufta Kausar and Shafqat Emmanuel to death on April 4, 2014.

Since 2014, the couple was jailed separately with Shafqat Emmanuel in Faisalabad District Jail and Shagufta Kausar in Multan Jail.

In prison, Shafqat Emmanuel’s health quickly deteriorated due to a lack of medical care for a spinal injury he sustained in 2004.

“It’s a bogus case. All judges are afraid. Nobody wants to hear their case and keeps tossing it to another bench.”
– Saif-ul-Malook

“A session judge who visited the Faisalabad jail described Shafqat as a hopeless case. It means that being Christian and a blasphemy accused is itself sufficient for being hated by police, judges, lawyers, and the overall society. They are left to die.”
– Saif-ul-Malook

In Pakistan, false accusations of blasphemy are common and often motivated by personal vendettas or religious hatred.

Accusations are highly inflammatory and have the potential to spark mob lynchings, vigilante murders, and mass protests.

High Court in Pakistan Acquits Christian Couple on Death Row for Blasphemy:
Couple Finally Released After Being “Left to Die” on Death Row:
International Christian Concern

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