Pakistani court acquits Christian couple after blasphemy charges
A Pakistani court acquitted a Christian couple of their blasphemy charges after being “left to die” on death row for nearly eight years over false allegations that they insulted the Islamic prophet Muhammad through text messages.
Police arrested Shafqat Emmanuel and Shagufta Kausar in July 2013 when Maulvi Mohammed Hussain, a mosque leader, claimed Emmanuel used his wife’s phone to send him an offensive message insulting Muhammad with other blasphemous statements.
A two-member bench of the Lahore High Court finally ordered their release from jail on Thursday after hearing arguments from both sides, Daily Pakistan reported.
Emmanuel claims that the police extracted a false confession from him by torturing him in front of his wife and children, according to the United States-based persecution watchdog group International Christian Concern.
The couple was charged with “insulting the Quran” and “insulting the prophet,” though little evidence was presented regarding the couple’s charges.