Press Esc to close
Saturday 25 October 2014
News updated at 10:58 AM IST
Weather
Max: 27°C
Min : 19.2°C
In Bangalore
Generally cloudy

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
College students walk in drizzle in Srinagar…

College students walk in drizzle in Srinagar…

People wait as three wild elephants cross…

People wait as three wild elephants cross…

Army soldiers display arms and ammunition recovered…

Army soldiers display arms and ammunition recovered…

Army Personnel inspecting their damaged vehicle…

Army Personnel inspecting their damaged vehicle…

Army personnel take positions during an encounter…

Army personnel take positions during an encounter…

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh inspecting…

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh inspecting…

Residents look for their belongings after a fire…

Residents look for their belongings after a fire…

Rush at Moradabad Railway Station on the eve of Bhai Dooj…

Rush at Moradabad Railway Station on the eve of Bhai Dooj…

Devotees collecting Puja Pasadam during Govardhan Puja…

Devotees collecting Puja Pasadam during Govardhan Puja…

Sikh religious warriors display their skills as they ride…

Sikh religious warriors display their skills as they ride…

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