Faisalabad: Human Rights Focus Pakistan (HRFP) hails the district & session court’s verdict on granting the bail to Shahbaz Masih (Akhtar) and in same case Muhammad Ishaq granted bail earlier, a case was assisting by HRFP through legal aid, advocacy, moral and financial support from a year since both arrested in December 2019 in district Faisalabad of province Punjab in Pakistan http://www.asianews.it/news-en/Christian-and-Muslim-friends-arrested-in-Faisalabad-for-blasphemy-49024.html . HRFP team with legal counsels has been appearing from 1st hearing to until the bail granting on 10th November 2020 and have been supporting through different essentials.
Shahabaz Masih and Muhammad Ishaq alleged for blasphemy charges under section 295-B of PPC for accusing of offending the Prophet Muhammad. On 27th December 2019 Shahbaz Masih surrounded by a mob at the market, they dragged him to a nearby landfill where children collect papers and beaten. Muhammad Ishaq drew the attention on Shahbaz’s screams, come to help him and the mob accused to both for blasphemy of burning the pages of Quran. The police arrived and took them both to police station before the riot followed through nearby Mosque calling on Muslims to kill both accused.
Naveed Walter president of Human Rights Focus Pakistan (HRFP) said that the sensitivity of issue has been seen at many stages with facing the challenges of safety & security measures, hatred behaviors, biased investigations & uncomfortable legal proceedings, court’s slower process and the rejection of bails earlier but the success finally impacting with encouragements to do more for the hundreds same marginalized and religiously victimized, he added.
Naveed Walter president of HRFP said that the release of accused has proved again that the blasphemy accusations are only based on personal grudges & conflicts and the challenges are more ahead even after their release from prison. Their safe housings, protections throughout, hiding identities, unable to living in same place they belonged originally, further appearing through court trials, for finding and doing jobs and the families’ threats ahead for longer are the bigger challenges, Naveed Walter added more.