The court proceedings of Younus Masih’s appeal against death sentence have been adjourned by the Lahore High Court.
Younus Masih was convicted of committing blasphemy, by reason of which he was sentenced to death by a local court. His defense lawyer and Christian human Rights activist had lodged an appeal against his death sentence in the Lahore High court which is now put off. Nonetheless, this decision of the Lahore High Court appears to be attributable to a strong influence of Islamic extremists on the LHC bench. This decision of the court brings disappointment not only to the defense lawyer of Younus Masih but to the civil society of Pakistanis well.
This case is awaiting an absolute verdict from a double bench including Justice Najam-ul- Hassan and Justice Mehmood Maqbool Bajwa since September 2012. The court hearing for this disputatious case was due for 23rd January 2013.
This case has been monitored by CLASS, which has been providing sustenance to Younus Masih. The National Director of CLASS, Mr. Joseph Francis was present to attend the court proceedings. He was accompanied by a team from CLASS including Mr. Tahir Bashir, Mr. Nasir Anjum, Mr. Tanvir Gill, Mr. Asher Sarfraz, Mr. Ayaz Gill and Mr. Naeem Shakir an eminent Christian Human rights activist and Advocate of Supreme Court of Pakistan. At this instance presence of some 50 militants and religious extremists was observed. These aggressors attempted to pressurize the court.