A disabled Christian man, Shafqat Emmanuel Masih, was accused, along with his wife, Shagufta Kausar of sending blasphemous text messages to an Islamic cleric. The couple has been sentenced to death.
Shafqat has appealed at Lahore High Court, seeking bail due to his deteriorating health condition.
“I have developed bedsores and I may die in jail as there is no possibility of a better treatment there,” Shafqat Masih, who is paralyzed from his waist down, said in his petition, according to the Deccan Chronicle.
In line with the details, On 21st of July 2013, a disabled Christian man, Shafaqat Emmanuel, and his wife, Shagufta Kausar, parents of four children, were booked by the police in Gojra District for allegedly sending blasphemous text messages to local Muslims. Police registered an FIR bearing number 407/13 under sections 295-B and 295-C of
Pakistan Penal Code upon the complains of Muhmmad Hussain and Anwar Mansoor Goraya, Tehsil Bar Association president. The complainants allegedly accused that they received the blasphemous text messages from the number registered on Shagufta Kausar’s name.
“There was no evidence that the text messages came from a phone owned by the couple. In the first place they had lost the phone some months before July 2013 and secondly there was no SIM card in their names. The only evidence police produced was a bill for a SIM card from a shop owner which is unheard of,” said Farukh Saif, an official of World Vision in Progress, an organization defending the Christian couple.
The High Court is due to listen to the appeal on March 5, 2016
Under severe torture by the police, Shafqat confessed to the crime but later talking to lawyers from aiding organisations, said, “There is no man who can stand to see his wife being tortured by police, so to save my wife, I confessed.”
Christians have been repeatedly accused of blasphemy in Pakistan. Pakistan’s notorious blasphemy laws have been and are being used by the majority to settle personal grudges. Many cases of Christians committing blasphemy against the Muslim Prophet, Muhammad have come to the front but none of the cases held any solid evidence which could prove the convicts guilty. Nonetheless, many have been sentenced to death on account of witnesses but no execution has yet taken place.