Rights Groups in Pakistan Condemned Death Sentence for Sawan Masih

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Rights groups have criticized the death sentence order to a Christian man after more than 100 Muslims who smashed his Christian locality were unchained on bail.

 

On Thursday march 27th 20014 by the Lahore District Judge at the Kot Lakhpath Jail, Sawan Masih was sentenced to death, for blasphemy. Firstly Islamic rage against Masih’s alleged blasphemy consequence in the devastation of 180 Christian-owned homes and properties in Lahore’s Joseph Colony in March 2013, but a court later liberated 133 Muslim suspects.

 

According to Naeem Shakir, Masih’s lead counsel; back in March 8, 2013 Sawan Masih, was accused of blasphemy in a drunken dialogue with his Muslim friend in the Colony. Pakistan’s Statute 295-C prohibits offending Muhammad, which is carrying a punishment of death and/or a fine, but the First Information Report at first didn’t include any blasphemous explanations made by Masih. The blasphemy allegation was added through an additional statement by the accuser eight days later.

Rights groups have criticized the death sentence of Sawan Masih when extremists  who destroyed Joseph Colony are living free.
Rights groups have criticized the death sentence of Sawan Masih when extremists who destroyed Joseph Colony are living free.

Another lawyer on Masih’s defense team, Tahir Bashir said that he believed the court had convicted Sawan Masih underneath massive pressure from local Muslim political and religious groups.

 

“In most cases involving blasphemy, it has been observed that the trial court judges are pressured by religious zealots to hand the maximum sentence to an accused,” he said.

 

Sawan Masih in his court statement said that he didn’t committed blasphemy and blamed the complainant, Shahid Imran, of linking him in a fake case as part of a plot by local businessmen to drive Christians away from Joseph Colony so that they could snatch the property for industrial use.

“They hatched a conspiracy to push out the residents of the colony; they contrived a case and got it filed by a person who was close to me. I am innocent.” Sawan Masih said in the court