Christians in Pakistan call on courts to stop the misuse of blasphemy laws
According to the Union of Catholic Asian News (UCAN), Christian human rights activists in Pakistan are urging courts to reject mandatory death sentences in all cases of blasphemy.
Last week, the Peshawar High Court bench issued notices to the attorney general of Pakistan and provincial advocate general regarding a petition seeking orders for the government to remove the option of punishments other than the death penalty in cases of blasphemy.
According to the petitioner, alternative punishments for blasphemy have been rejected by the Federal Shariat Court but not implemented by federal or provincial governments.
“It’s time to stop the misuse of the blasphemy law,” Nasir Saeed, Director of the Centre of Legal Aid Assistance and Settlement, told UCAN. “We see every day how this law is being misused by individuals and religious groups to achieve their goals and settle their personal grudges, especially against religious minorities.”
“Clearly the judges are prejudiced,” Kashif Aslam, Deputy Director of the Advocacy and Program National Commission for Justice and Peace (NCJP). “We are experiencing such attitudes from the beginning.”