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LEAD demands repeal of blasphemy law after another Christian face death sentences verdict

Gujrat: September 18, 2017. (PCP) A Christian accused of committing blasphemy has been sentenced to death by a local court. Nadeem James, resident of Sarai Alamagir was accused of committing blasphemy in July last year. He was accused of sending blasphemous text messages to a Muslim.

The complainant Yasir Bashir, approached City Division Police Station of Sarai Alamgir. Consequently, on July 10, 2016 FIR number 301 was lodged against Nadeem James, invoking 295A and 295C of the Pakistan Penal Code. Shortly after the FIR was registered, Nadeem James fled while in his absence the police detained his two sisters.

According to family of the convict, Nadeem had been embroiled in blasphemy case because he had married a Muslim woman. Subsequently, the absconder was hooked by the Police and was being tried in District Jail Gujrat.

His trial concluded when the Additional Sessions Judge Irfan Haider sentenced him to death along with a fine of 3 lac Pakistani Rupees. In a 28-page ruling, the court stated that Nadeem James had sent blasphemous WhatsApp messages to Yasir Bashir.

Pakistan: Blasphemy Laws-Slow poisoning genocide of Christians in Pakistan

A report compiled by LEAD-Legal Evangelical Association Development covering the period of twelve years of genocide of Christians in Pakistan by the so called Shari'ah-Blasphemy laws.

The Repeal Blasphemy Laws campaign holds that “blasphemy” laws are wrong in every way for Christians:

They are inconsistent with and in derogation of Fundamental Rights

They endanger the security of person and property

They destroy the safeguards as to arrest and detention

They destroy the right to fair trial

They violate the human right to freedom of faith, religion and expression

They promote agenda of one faith and religion-Islam

They destroy the rule of law and equality

They instigate and enrage Muslims to attack Christians, to burn them alive and to burn their homes

They are overwhelmingly being used to settle personal vendettas and to settle their personal scores

They encourage to persecute Christians and for it the mere accusation of blasphemy is enough to make someone a target for hardliners, as is defending those accused of blasphemy or calling for the laws to be repealed.

They are not a pardonable offence in common and anyone who believes otherwise is also committing blasphemy, and must similarly pay with their life, but in practice for Muslims it is pardonable.

LEAD has three examples of such blasphemy cases in which the accused were Muslims and they set free from the blasphemy charges after granting pardon from Clerics and influential people in spite of the fact that the accused admission of committing blasphemy was proved.

Recently in early of this year a Muslim man Saghar Shehzad was arrested under blasphemy laws sections 295-A and 298-A. He was released from jail after granting pardon.

In the same way second case of blasphemy of burning Quranic pages was resolved by Muslim clerics and administration in 2013.

The third incident of blasphemy under causations of derogatory remarks against Prophet Muhammad happened in 2007 and in the same way was resolved.

LEAD collected all these facts and dealt with a number of blasphemy cases of Christians and finally concluded that the main object of blasphemy laws is just a genocide of Christians in Pakistan, hence these laws should be repealed at every cost for the survival of Christianity in Pakistan.

LEAD asked national and international human rights groups and Churches to lobby for the repeal of the blasphemy laws because they destroy all human rights even which are guaranteed by the Constitution Of Pakistan as fundamental rights.