Press Esc to close
Wednesday 01 October 2014
News updated at 7:38 PM IST
Weather
Max: 29.3°C
Min : 21.4°C
In Bangalore
Sunny day

Pak court acquits Christian man on death row for blasphemy

Lahore, Apr 4, 2013, (PTI)

A Pakistani court has acquitted a Christian man who was sentenced to death for blasphemy five years ago, his lawyer said today.

Police in Lahore, the country's second largest city, arrested Younas Masih, 34, and registered a case against him under the controversial blasphemy law on November 9, 2005.

It was alleged that Masih had uttered derogatory remarks about "Qawwalis" performed at a Sufi gathering that fell within the ambit of blasphemy.


In 2008, a court sentenced Masih to death and ordered him to pay a fine of Rs 100,000.

Masih subsequently challenged the sentence in the Lahore High Court.

His counsel, Naeem Shakir, pointed out to the court that the FIR against Masih was registered a day after the incident was reported to police.

Shakir argued that police had failed to produce any "direct evidence" against Masih as their investigation was based entirely on hearsay.

The High Court allowed the appeal and yesterday set aside the sentence and fine awarded to Masih.

He is expected to be freed from prison shortly.

Blasphemy is a sensitive issue in Pakistan, where only about three per cent of the 180-million population are non-Muslims.

Mere allegations of blasphemy have triggered violence against minorities like Christians.

Several persons accused of committing blasphemy have been lynched in recent years.

Last month, a mob of thousands of Muslims ransacked and torched some 200 homes in Joseph Colony, a Christian neighbourhood of Lahore, after a Christian man was accused of blasphemy.

Rights groups have said the blasphemy law, which carries the death penalty, is often misused to persecute minorities and to settle personal scores.

Go to Top

Photo Gallery
Nokia India Sales Marketing Director Raghuvesh Swarup launches the new Nokia Lumia ...

Nokia India Sales Marketing Director Raghuvesh Swarup launches the new Nokia Lumia ...

India's Mary Kom is lifted by her coach after she won the gold in women's flyweight boxing ...

India's Mary Kom is lifted by her coach after she won the gold in women's flyweight boxing ...

Bollywood actress Sushmita Sen attends the Durga Puja celebrations in Mumbai ...

Bollywood actress Sushmita Sen attends the Durga Puja celebrations in Mumbai ...

A huge statue of Mahatma Gandhi in Bengaluru a day before its inauguration ...

A huge statue of Mahatma Gandhi in Bengaluru a day before its inauguration ...

Silver medal winner India's Tintu Luka poses at the podium during the medal ceremony ...

Silver medal winner India's Tintu Luka poses at the podium during the medal ceremony ...

Boxer Mary Kom kisses shares a moment with her kid after winning the gold medal ...

Boxer Mary Kom kisses shares a moment with her kid after winning the gold medal ...

Damaged coaches after Krishak Express and Barauni Express collided near Gorakhpur ...

Damaged coaches after Krishak Express and Barauni Express collided near Gorakhpur ...

India's boxer Sarita cries at the podium after refusing to accept the bronze medal ...

India's boxer Sarita cries at the podium after refusing to accept the bronze medal ...

People look at the damaged coaches after Krishak Express and Barauni Express collided ...

People look at the damaged coaches after Krishak Express and Barauni Express collided ...

Indian tennis legend and global ambassador of the sport, Vijay Amritraj addressing during ...

Indian tennis legend and global ambassador of the sport, Vijay Amritraj addressing during ...

Copyright 2014, The Printers (Mysore) Private Ltd., 75, M.G Road, Post Box 5331, Bangalore - 560001
Tel: +91 (80) 25880000 Fax No. +91 (80) 25880523