Faisalabad: Human Rights Focus Pakistan (HRFP) demands to repeal the blasphemy laws and to stop the practices of victimizations in Pakistan.
London: (By Hannah Chowdhry) After we reported blood in the vomit of Pakistan’s longest serving blasphemy convict ever Zafar Bhatti (click here), Trustees of British Asian Christian Association agreed to find a solution to his ongoing incarceration.
Zafar and his wife asked us to take over the case due to dissatisfaction in the handling of his case and near the end of 2021, we took on this responsibility.
On With desire to see freedom come to long term blasphemy convict Zafar Bhatti, BACA met with Saif Ul Malook one of Pakistan’s most preeminent solicitors in the field.
Juliet and Hannah Chowdhry meet Saif ul Malook
BACA have previously worked with Mr Malook when assisting with the emancipation of Asia Bibi (click here) and Shagufta Kauser and Shafquat Emmanuel
Saif Ul Malook, has taken on some of the most high profile cases and secured freedom for them. His CV is second to none and he would like to support us in gaining release for Zafar Bhatti. But we have hit a stumbling block, as his current fees stand at £10,000 which is way more than we have ever paid before. The fee he has set would include for all costs associated with the case, including preparation, court appearances and his travel to and from court even in the current justice system malaise that includes numerous postponements.
He has agreed to allow us to pay in instalments but we must have £5000 to pay up front. He has agreed to initiate an appeal for Zafar Bhatti’s release, once we have paid this deposit. We in turn are starting this appeal today seeking your help in raising the £10,000 required to free innocent Zafar Bhatti from jail. If you feel you can help please donate (here).
Juliet Chowdhry, Trustee for British Asian Christian Association, said:
“BACA has a strong relationship with Mr Saif Ul Malook who we supported financially during the case of Asia Bibi.
“We know he is up to the task he is one of the best lawyers the country has produced and has already helped several Christian blasphemy convicts find freedom.
“He was frank and open with us and has shared the difficulties and possibilities for the case.
“His 48 year experience in law of course comes at a premium and we hope to raise the funds to hire him.
“Saif Ul Malook comes with a big heart and a passion for justice and he has proven himself to be unbiased towards Christians.
“We hope with the help of our supporters to bring a national treasure into the courts to finally get long overdue justice for ailing Zafar Bhatti and his wife.”
Hannah Chowdhry, volunteer for BACA and an A level student hoping to study law next year at Glasgow University, said:
“Meeting Mr Malook was a real privilege.
“I was able to describe my desire to become a solicitor for international humanitarian law.
“We discussed some of the details that help with legal cases.
“We both agreed it would be good to one day work on a case together, as I will when qualified provide pro bono assistance to Pak-Christians when I can.
“I will be following the case of Zafar Bhatti with more interest once Saif Ul Malook takes on this case.”
Juliet Chowdhry will meet Saif Ul Malook later today (Sunday 29th May), to see if it is at all possible to garner a discount for his services. We will keep our supporters posted.
Fears that Zafar Bhatti (55 yrs), Pakistan’s longest serving blasphemy convict could be the first ever to be lynched heightened after a judge increased his sentence from life imprisonment to death on 3rd January 2022 (click here)
Judge Sahibzada Naqeeb Shehzad, of Sessions Court Rawalpindi made this ruling despite clear physical and electronic evidence of the innocence of Zafar Bhatti.
No forensic evidence exists for any blasphemy by Zafar Bhatti, in fact every piece of physical and electronic evidence suggests he is innocent. Zafar Bhatti however was convicted based on an unsubstantiated report declaring his guilt, made by police in the early stages of their investigation. During that investigation Zafar Bhatti states he was coerced into a false investigation under a brutal police interrogation. Read time line (here)
Zafar Bhatti could still be killed any day under the terms of his blasphemy conviction under Section 295C of the Blasphemy law of Pakistan.
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