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Pakistani Christian man granted bail in blasphemy case after 4 years in prison


A view of the Supreme Courtroom of Pakistan in Islamabad, Pakistan April 20, 2017. |

The brother of a Pakistani Christian man granted bail final week after spending years in jail is pleading with Pope Francis and different worldwide leaders to evacuate and grant his brother asylum in a Western nation as issues about his well being and security persist.

Nadeem Samson, a Pakistani Christian imprisoned for blasphemy
Nadeem Samson, a Pakistani Christian imprisoned for blasphemy |

On Thursday, the Supreme Courtroom of Pakistan granted bail for Nadeem Samson, a Catholic who has been imprisoned in Pakistan for 4 years on blasphemy costs. Samson’s brother, Shakeel Anjum, a United States citizen, reacted to the event in an interview with The Christian Submit.

“[On the] one aspect, we’re pleased. However [on the] different aspect, we’re very afraid,” he mentioned, talking on behalf of himself and one other brother, who additionally lives in Pakistan.

Anjum cited the Jan. 3 death sentence of Zafar Bhatti, one other Christian imprisoned beneath Pakistan’s blasphemy legal guidelines, as a trigger for concern.  

Whereas the Supreme Courtroom of Pakistan granted Samson bail, the authorized proceedings stemming from the blasphemy costs towards him will proceed on the district courtroom stage.

Anjum advised CP that “trials are very harmful” as a result of “he has to … go to the courtroom backwards and forwards to attend the hearings.” He recalled a 2020 incident the place a Muslim accused of blasphemy was “murdered proper within the courtroom,” fearing that his brother may find yourself dealing with the identical destiny.

“He was murdered proper within the courtroom,” Anjum mentioned. “He was on bail and he bought shot useless and any individual simply killed him within the courtroom.”

Extra just lately, on Dec. 3, a Twitter account managed by Anjum dedicated to securing his brother’s launch retweeted a video of a Sri Lankan Hindu Manufacturing unit supervisor who was “burned alive by #Muslims mob” for accused blasphemy. Anjum mentioned these two incidents have left him and his brothers “actually scared” and “actually fearful.”

In mild of the issues and the truth that “mob attacking is frequent in Pakistan,” Anjum delivered an attraction to the pope and Josep Borrell, the European Union’s excessive consultant for overseas affairs.

“Each [of my] brothers truly needs to be evacuated instantly as a result of that is very, very dangerous,” he mentioned.

Anjum additionally fears for his brother, Michael, who has attended Samson’s courtroom proceedings and visited him in jail. He believes that Michael’s affiliation with Samson is sufficient to put his life at risk as effectively. Anjum known as on the Canadian authorities to grant Samson asylum “to save lots of his life.”

“I’ve no dad and mom. I’ve two brothers … in Pakistan,” Anjum added. “They need to be protected and they need to be evacuated instantly from Pakistan.”

Anjum elaborated on the toll that 4 years in jail has taken on his brother. “My brother, for [the] previous few months, he has [been] very sick,” he mentioned. “We bought the orders for his remedy. We bought the courtroom order for … his speedy remedy.”

As a result of the jail superintendent didn’t enable his brother “out of the jail for his remedy,” Anjum mentioned Samson was in “extreme ache.”

The U.S. Fee on Worldwide Non secular Freedom’s profile on Samson lists kidney stones as a well being concern and signifies that he has confronted torture whereas detained.

“Samson is reportedly residing in inhumane situations on the district jail in Lahore, the place he has additionally been denied ample medical take care of treating kidney stones,” the congressionally-mandated spiritual freedom physique mentioned.

Anjum agreed with Samson’s lawyer that his bail was “historic.” Blasphemy costs in Pakistan could be punishable with life imprisonment and even the demise penalty. Nonetheless, the Pakistani authorities has by no means executed anybody for a blasphemy conviction.

Particularly, part 295-C of Pakistan’s penal code mandates that “whoever by phrases, both spoken or written, or by seen illustration by any imputation, innuendo, or insinuation, instantly or not directly, defiles the sacred title of the Holy [Islamic] Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) shall be punished with demise, or imprisonment for all times, and shall even be liable to high-quality.”

As CP beforehand reported, Samson was arrested in November 2017 after the person he was leasing a home from advised police that the Pakistani Catholic had posted blasphemous materials on his Fb account.

Anjum beforehand alleged that the person, Abdul Haq, created a faux Fb account to smear his brother in an effort to keep away from having to pay Samson the $4,000 owed to him as a part of the lease settlement.

Anjum beforehand predicted that the Supreme Courtroom of Pakistan would make a good choice about Samson’s destiny as a result of they’ve bodyguards and are subsequently not intimidated by the mob. In contrast, Anjum asserted, the trial courtroom judges “shouldn’t have any safety for themselves.”

“So that they have just one choice,” he maintained. “They’ve to permit the punishment.”

Anjum lamented that the majority blasphemy circumstances in Pakistan comply with a well-known sample, the place after a number of years of litigation, the judges decide that the accusations of blasphemy are false.

“Their lives are ruined in trial,” Anjum mentioned of these falsely accused of blasphemy. Within the case of Samson, his accuser “by no means appeared within the trial courtroom.”

False allegations of blasphemy are a standard prevalence in Pakistan. Patrick Sookdeho of the Barnabas Fund, a Christian support company, elaborated on the indiscriminate and improper use of blasphemy legal guidelines in Pakistan on the first annual Worldwide Non secular Freedom Summit that came about in Washington, D.C., final summer season.

In a panel dialogue that includes Asia Bibi, one other Pakistani Christian imprisoned on blasphemy costs who since fled the nation, Sookdeho knowledgeable attendees that Pakistan’s blasphemy regulation “has been utilized by those that are sad with Christians or [used against] a selected Christian as a weapon” to “settle scores.” 

“In Pakistan right now, there are not less than 5 Christians on demise row for blasphemy,” he proclaimed. “There are 20 Christians in jail on blasphemy costs. … Since 1990, not less than 15 Christians have been murdered due to blasphemy allegations, typically earlier than trial has begun.”

He harassed that the allegations of blasphemy and hostile remedy endured by Pakistani Christians “doesn’t come from the federal government, per se, however relatively from the establishments of society.”

Ryan Foley is a reporter for The Christian Submit. He could be reached at: ryan.foley@christianpost.com




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