Pakistan Christian Congress demands release of Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani
Karachi: February 24, 2012. (PCP) Dr. Nazir S Bhatti, President of Pakistan Christian Congress PCC has expressed grave concern on media reports on issuance of execution orders of Pastor Nadarkhani by Iranian government.
Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani was arrested in 2009 on charges of apostasy which is subject to death under Iranian Islamic laws. There were options for Pastor Nadarkhani to recant his faith to seek freedom from jail in 2011, but Pastor denied such offers of Iranian regime.
Dr. Nazir Bhatti said that Iran is supposed to respect human rights and religious freedom being member state of United Nation and signatory of Universal Declaration of Human Rights of UN.
“Apostasy was never a crime in Islamic history but protected under “Madina Treaty” signed among Prophet Mohammad and non-Muslims” said Nazir Bhatti
Nazir Bhatti said that Muslim states are using Islamic laws for political agenda and to prolong their rule like Pakistan and Iran where Blasphemy laws and Apostasy are targeting religious freedom and human rights.
Nazir Bhatti has appealed President of Iran to pardon Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani to uphold true Islamic justice values and release him from jail to profess his religion.
Meanwhile, US State department have issued a statement on news of execution of Pastor Nadarkhani; as “The United States is deeply concerned by reports that a provincial court has renewed the execution order for Iranian Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani. Mr. Nadarkhani is facing a death sentence on charges of apostasy and has refused to recant his Christian faith. Such government persecution for simply following one’s faith is common in Iran, where followers of many religious traditions face harsh treatment and severe violations of their religious freedom. We have also witnessed a dramatic increase in the arrest of adherents to the Baha’i Faith recently, as well as an increase in repression of freedom of expression in all forms. We stand with religious and political leaders from around the world in condemning Youcef Nadarkhani’s conviction and call for his immediate release”
"Trial of Pakistani Christian Nation" By Nazir S Bhatti