Christian Given Life Sentence In Pakistan

On the evening of July 21, 2013, another Blasphemy case was registered against the Christian couple in Gojra City in Punjab province.

From our contact in Pakistan…

Shafaqat Masih and his wife Shagufta Bibi were accused of blasphemy and arrested on July 21, 2013. The First Investigation Report (FIR) (No. 407/13) was registered under 295-B and C against ‘anonymous’. However, the police had taken the Cell Phone and SIM card into custody. The phone was later found to be owned by Shagufta Bibi, wife of Shafaqat Masih. Police recorded the Statement of the couple declaring their ownership and shifted them to unknown place for further investigation.

After taking necessary action and keeping the sensitivity of the issue in mind, police sent the couple to Gojra Jail.

Earlier, Rana Mohammad Fiaz (complainant) informed the police that he had received a blasphemous text message from a private cell number. After the investigation, Police found the SIM card data and once having the details, arrested the couple.

Background: The family is living in a pathetic situation as the couple has 4 growing children; the youngest one is of 6 years old. Shagufta Bibi was working in a mission school as class four staff and had sole responsibility for taking care of her children as her husband is crippled and unable to earn a living.

Gojra City is observed and declared a very sensitive area in such cases. Earlier in 2009, due to the similar cause, radical Muslims set the Christian colony ablaze and 8 family members were burned alive. The fire was started from the Korian Village, District. Toba Tek Singh and so far hundreds of houses were turned to ashes there. Much family had left their houses and shifted to other areas of the country.

Earlier on July 13, Sajjad Masih was sent to jail for life imprisionment in the same sort of text massages case. The city police of Gojra in association with some fundamental Muslims baited the Christian boy, Sajjad Masih. The case was sent to the court of Main Shahzad Raza, Additional Sessions Judge Gojra, for trail of the case.

The prosecution had failed to prove the case against Sajjad Masih. Even then Main Shahzad Raza, Judge of the Court, announced his judgment on 13th July, 2013 and sentenced him to life imprisonment.

The area is known as a house of the banned militant organization – Lashkar e Jhangvi. It was reported earlier that local government is backing up this organization. And this case of Shafaqat Masih and his wife Shagufta Bibi is the continuation of Gojra Tragedy.

We have not been able to understand the situation with the Pakistani courts; the text massage / SMS is taken as sole evidence against the accused of the Blasphemy case whereas the DNA test report, which is an authentic proof against rape, is not acceptable according to the Islamic Sharia Law.

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