Pakistani legal advocacy group calls for repeal of blasphemy law

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Pakistani legal advocacy group LEAD (Legal Evangelical Association Development) has called upon the government to repeal the blasphemy laws. LEAD chief Advocate Sardar Mishtaq Gill how has been providing legal assistance to victims of misuse of blasphemy laws has said that the desired move has become inevitable now.

Blasphemy cases in Pakistan

LEAD’s demand comes after yet another Christian man namely Nadeem James was sentenced to death on blasphemy charges. Nadeem James’s friend accused him of sending a blasphemous text message on Whatsapp. In this regard, LEAD has compiled a report regarding persecution of Christians in Pakistan by dint of blasphemy law.

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Misusing blasphemy law has become a common practice in order to settle personal or communal disputes. In recent case, Nadeem James was purportedly embroiled in a blasphemy case, in a bid to take revenge because he had married a Muslim girl.

LEAD report covers a period of twelve years, detailing the scenario of Pakistani Christians who fall a prey to the blasphemy law. Advocate Sardar Mushtaq Gill updated CIP stating: “The Repeal Blasphemy Laws campaign holds that blasphemy laws are wrong in every way for Christians:

a)They are inconsistent with and in derogation of Fundamental Rights
b)They endanger the security of person and property
c)They destroy the safeguards as to arrest and detention
d)They destroy the right to fair trial
e)They violate the human right to freedom of faith, religion and expression
f)They promote agenda of one faith and religion-Islam
g)They destroy the rule of law and equality
h)They instigate and enrage Muslims to attack Christians, to burn them alive and to burn their homes
i)They are overwhelmingly being used to settle personal vendettas and to settle their personal scores

In many cases, the accused is likely to face an extra judicial judgment at the hands of furious mobsters. In an incident, an entire Christian neighborhood Joseph Colony was torched by the vandals because a Christian resident Sawaan Masih was accused of committing blasphemy. On another occasion, a Christian couple was lynched alive in a brick kiln on the pretext of committing blasphemy.