Public assault feared as four Christians accused of blasphemy due to be presented before court in coming days.
According to details, an extrajudicial assault is anticipated when four Christians who were charged of committing blasphemy will be presented for a court hearing before the court on October 16.
The Christian respondents of blasphemy are Pastor Aftab Gill, Younatan Gill and two other Christians are due to be presented before the court on October 16. They are in danger of being killed in an extrajudicial killing. These Christians are at present behind the bars as they were hooked by police once charges were brought against them.
Since blasphemy cases are extra sensitive because public agitation is widely anticipated and mobs gather during the court hearings of blasphemy cases. However, in this case, court has declined to grant them a protective escort. As the situation remains tensed, their family members and local Christian are fearful of a possible and expected attack on them while being taken to the court for hearing; radicals may try and kill them taking matters in their own hands.
After these four Christians were arrested bail petitions were filed but the court turned down their bail pleas however, at the same time bail was granted to the Muslim printer who had printed these contentious posters. In this regard, a local NGO CLAAS which has been following the case stated that “the judge was biased because the term ‘rasool’ is found in the Bible in Urdu and Christians had no blasphemous intention”.
Previously this year, blasphemy accusations were brought against them for allegedly insulting Islam by printing and circulating, posters in which the word “rasool” Apostle was used. It was accused that this word is attributed to Prophet Muhammad. These posters were published for the death anniversary of a decease pastor.
The Defence counsel of these Christians Advocate Imtiaz Shakir, who is a Muslim himself while talking with Fides said, “The trial is an exaggeration, one is abusing the word rasool, which in Urdu means messenger. The accusation is preposterous, the whole system is biased, and local authorities are looking for an opportunity for another extrajudicial killing.”
“My religion does not allow me to endorse such injustice: these innocent people are suffering because of a misunderstanding of Islam. This is a failure of the judicial system and an abuse of power. Not only Christians but all Pakistani citizens who believe in the rule of law and justice should speak out to defend these innocent people”.