Islamabad [Pakistan]June 22 (ANI): The local court in Bahawalpur shocked Pakistan by sentencing 22-year-old Christian youth Noman Masih to death for blasphemy, BNN network reported. Activists and religious minorities say his case has not been fairly investigated, causing injustice.
Norman Masih accused of carrying profane images on his mobile phone. According to the BNN network, the crime carries the mandatory death penalty under Section 295-C of the Pakistani Penal Code. Yet anyone familiar with the plight of religious minorities in Pakistan knows that false blasphemy allegations are often used to settle personal grievances, property disputes, religious prejudice or business rivalries.
Prominent minority rights activist Joseph Jansen expressed deep concern and pain at the verdict. Emphasizing the lack of impartial investigations, Jensen said those who make false allegations against religious minorities often go unpunished with little consequence for their actions, adding that this leads to further abuse of blasphemy laws, according to the BNN network. , and put innocent lives at risk.
The verdict has drawn strong reactions from various human rights activists and organizations. Human rights activist Elias Samuel expressed hope that the high court would step in and overturn the death sentence, and urged a thorough review of the charges against Norman Masih, according to news reports.
Women’s rights activist Nadia Stephen stressed the fundamental right to a fair investigation, saying the accused’s life was at stake. Another prominent human rights activist, Ashiknaz Khokhar, said false blasphemy allegations had a devastating effect on marginalized communities, killing innocent lives and terrorizing The atmosphere of persecution and persecution persisted for a long time.
Also, according to news reports, Lara Robin Daniel, president of the Pakistan Minorities Alliance, urged the Pakistani government to implement effective mechanisms to reduce the abuse of blasphemy laws. According to the BNN network, Daniel said it is critical to create a safe environment where individuals are not unfairly targeted and justice is delivered based on thorough investigation and evidence.
At least 57 cases of alleged blasphemy were registered in Pakistan between January and May 2023, the Eurasian Review reported, adding that the province with the highest number of such cases was Punjab with 28, followed by Sindh. 16 cases and 8 cases in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. and Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir (PoK) at 5.
Two Christian teenagers, Adil Baber and Simon Masih, were recently charged with blasphemy in Lahore, Pakistan. The charges were filed against the young accusers shortly after Police Constable Zahid Sohail got into an altercation with them on May 28. (ANI)
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