Prime Minister of Pakistan Nawaz Shairf has been urged to help the blasphemy accused Christian teenager Nabeel Masih. In a letter, the civil society and several citizens of Pakistan including Muslims have beseeched the Premier to look into the matter and take apt action.
An excerpt from the letter is as below:
“Dear Mr. Prime Minister
The case of Nabeel Masih
Every child is special and is endowed by birth right to receive the protection and care of its family, society and the state. This principle is enshrines in every man made and divine law, and relevant international convention in the world.
An illiterate sixteen year old sweeper’s son charged under Sections 295 and 295A of the Pakistan Penal Code, stands to lose his freedom over a social media interaction; an all too innocuous action in the digital age that is neither defined in the Law of Blasphemy, nor the Cyber crime Law. As citizens of Pakistan and members of the world community, we find it alarming that, without any established rules of either collecting evidence or for attributing intentions in the digital space, the criminalizing of digital exchanges had become increasingly common.
Such accusations are instruments of persecution for Pakistan’s minority communities, who still hold dear the promise of equality that out Founder made to them. Whats more, as the case of Nabeel Masih demonstrates, these accusations are accompanied by mob intimidation in the police station and the courtroom, denying victim any chance of due process of fair hearing.
It is the duty of the State of Pakistan to protect Nabeel and provide him a fair chance in life; a guarantee enshrined in our constitution and also in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Sustainable Development Goals to which Pakistan is a signatory. It is a travesty that instead of making good in this guarantee, this young boy is in a prison cell; incarcerated by the very state that is entrusted by natural and divine law to protect him.
It is uncontested that this boy is not the author of the post in question. He certainly did not know the consequences of his actions, as he has neither the age nor the education to make sense of the world around him, nor does he represents a threat to anyone. He is just a child.
We ask you in the name of humanity, justice and compassion, as a Pakistani, a father, a human being and the elected representative of the people of Pakistan to prevail on this obvious injustice and save the life of a helpless child who has his life ahead of him.
With much hope
On behalf of concerned Pakistani citizens.”