Pakistani court overturns death row Christian couple’s blasphemy conviction

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A decrease court docket had sentenced Shafqat Emmanuel, a watchman at a manufacturing unit, and his spouse, Shagufta Kausar, to demise in 2014 for allegedly sending derogatory remarks in regards to the Muslim prophet Mohammed in a textual content message to a different man, Khalid Maqsood.

The couple’s lawyer, Saif-ul-Malook, instructed Reuters the Lahore Excessive Courtroom had acquitted the couple within the case within the central city of Toba Tek Singh.

An in depth order from the court docket was anticipated within the subsequent two days, he stated.

Prosecution lawyer Ghulam Mustafa Chaudhry instructed Reuters the prosecution would make use of all out there treatments towards the choice.

Insulting the prophet carries a compulsory demise penalty within the predominantly Muslim nation. Pakistan’s blasphemy legal guidelines have lengthy been criticized by international rights teams.

“At present’s choice places an finish to the seven-year lengthy ordeal of a pair who mustn’t have been convicted nor confronted a demise sentence within the first place,” Amnesty Worldwide’s South Asia Deputy Director Dinushika Dissanayake stated in a press release, calling on authorities to offer safety to the couple and their lawyer.

The acquitted couple was named in a European Union Parliament decision handed in April that known as for stripping the commerce exemptions given by the bloc to Pakistan’s exports, saying the nation had didn’t stem rising blasphemy accusations.

Pakistan is commonly hit by vigilante violence towards folks accused of blasphemy. Final month, a mob broke right into a police station on the outskirts of the capital, Islamabad, in a bid to lynch two males accused of desecrating a mosque.
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