Pakistan: Christian couple sentenced to death for blasphemy for texts they didn’t send
by Robert Spencer, Jihad Watch — April 4, 2014
Here yet again we see how Pakistan’s blasphemy law is used to victimize non-Muslims. It is a human rights abuse of catastrophic proportions, but apparently the global “human rights community” is too busy worrying about “Islamophobia” to take any serious notice. How many more innocent people will have to die before Western Christian leaders decide that speaking out against this persecution of their brethren is worth harming the wonderful “dialogue” they’re enjoying with the local Muslim groups?
BREAKING NEWS: Pakistan Sentences Christian Couple To Death
by Stefan J. Bos for BosNewsLife, April 4:
ISLAMABAD, PAKISTAN (BosNewsLife)– A Pakistani court sentenced an impoverished Christian couple to death for “blasphemy against Islam” on Friday, April 4, just days after another Christian was told he would be executed on similar charges, an advocacy official involved in the case told BosNewsLife.
Shafaqat Emmanuel, a crippled 38-year-old Christian man, and his wife Shagufta Kausar, 42, “were crying after being told they would be executed by hanging,” said Farrukh H. Saif, executive director of the Pakistan-based World Vision In Progress (WVIP) rights group.
Friday’s court procedure was held in the overcrowded prison of Toba Tek Singh city, where the couple was held following their arrest in nearby Gojra District on July 21 last year, he added.
Saif said WVIP and its international partner Rescue Christians, who provided lawyers to the couple, would appeal against the sentence as early as Monday, April 7.
The devoted Christians were accused by Muslims of sending blasphemous text messages with a mobile phone, charges they strongly deny. “Both have no real education. They can’t send text messages in English,” Saif explained.
However the complainants, identified as Muhmmad Hussain and Anwar Mansoor Goraya, who leads the lawyers organization Tehsil Bar Association, pressured judges to agree with the death sentence.
“They were reading verses from the Koran. They also said that if the court wouldn’t sentence them to death, they would make sure they would be killed the same way as other opponents of the blasphemy legislation,” Saif said.
The death sentence came despite evidence the couple’s mobile phone was not used for the alleged blasphemous remarks about Islam, according to the defense team. “We discovered that the messages were send from another number.”
Muslims have complained about alleged blasphemous text messages.
Yet, Saif said, he was not surprised why they were detained. “These poor people are persecuted because of their strong faith in Jesus Christ,” he added.
“Shagufta Kausar worked as a maid in the local church and the church school.” Shafqat Emmanuel was staying at home since becoming crippled several years ago, but he took care for their children, Saif stressed.
“We are now supporting their four young children, three sons and one daughter. The oldest is 12, the youngest six. We are very concerned about them.”…