ISSN 2330-717X

Pakistan: Christian Appeals Death Sentence For Blasphemy

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An illiterate Pakistani Christian man who has been sentenced to death alongside his wife for allegedly sending blasphemous text messages to an Islamic cleric has filed an appeal at Lahore High Court, seeking bail due to his deteriorating health.

“I have developed bedsores and I may die in jail as there is no possibility of better treatment there,” Shafqat Masih, who is paralyzed from the waist down, said in his petition, according to the Deccan Chronicle.

“There are serious contradictions in witness accounts against me and my wife and we are hopeful of an acquittal at our appeal,” he added.

Masih, alongside his wife, Shagufta, both of whom are in their 40s, were convicted and sentenced to death on charges of blasphemy in April 2014. The couple, who have four young children, were found guilty of sending blasphemous text messages to a local cleric, something which they deny on account that they are both illiterate.

The Lahore court is set to hear the petition on March 5.

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The Union of Catholic Asian News (UCA News, UCAN) is the leading independent Catholic news source in Asia. A network of journalists and editors that spans East, South and Southeast Asia, UCA News has for four decades aimed to provide the most accurate and up-to-date news, feature, commentary and analysis, and multimedia content on social, political and religious developments that relate or are of interest to the Catholic Church in Asia.

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