A Christian couple verdict to death for blasphemy text messages last week by a Pakistan court has filed a petition in Lahore High Court, their lawyer said on Wednesday.
The couple was allotted the death sentence on April 4 in Toba Tek Singh in addition to a fine of Rs200, 000 after being accused of sending text messages insulting the Prophet Mohammed.
The sentencing went onward despite it transpiring that a SIM card presented as evidence by police was fake.
It was the second case of blasphemy within two weeks after Sawan Masih, a Christian man from Lahore who was verdict to death sentence for articulating offensive statements against the Prophet Mohammed during a dialogue with his Muslim friend. News of the allegations generated rebellions in Lahore as crowds went about setting a Christian neighborhood of Joseph Colony on fire.
Mohammed Hussain filed the blasphemy case against the couple, he is a prayer leader in Gojra, who assumed that handicap Shafqat Emmanuel and his wife Shagufta Kasuer sent religiously belligerent text messages to him and other Muslims.
The couple was arrested in July 2013 under Sections 295-B and 295-C of Pakistan Penal Code regarding blasphemy.The couple contested the offense, Advocate Eric John, one of the two lawyers while defending them.
“We have filed an appeal against the sentence in the Lahore High Court,” he said. “We remain hopeful that the high court will suspend the sentence and acquit the couple.”
John said that judges of the lower judiciary bench are easily influenced or forced by extremist elements in such cases. He said that around 15 lawyers were representing the petitioner and that they had daunted and harassed the judge.
According to Human Rights Watch World Report, the blasphemy law is frequently used in contradiction of religious minorities in Pakistan, often to settle personal clashes.
Lots of people were charged with the crime in 2013. At least 16 people remain on death row for blasphemy, while another 20 are serving life sentences.