After a six year long ordeal, Christian couple sentenced to death for blasphemy plea for freedom
The couple's lawyer, told the international media outlet the testimony used to convict the couple was deeply flawed.
A Christian married couple has spent the last six years in prison waiting for a petition against their death sentence for “blasphemy” to settle.
A final hearing at the Lahore High Court was scheduled for Wednesday though it was delayed, with a new date yet to be revealed. The court proceedings have also slowed in recent weeks because of the coronavirus outbreak.
The couple’s lawyer, Saif ul Malook, who also represented Asia Bibi’s case, told the international media outlet that the testimony used to convict the couple was deeply flawed.
Shagufta Kausar and her husband Shafqat Emmanuel were convicted in 2014 for sending blasphemous text messages insulting the Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H.) to a local imam. A phone number used to send messages was registered under Shagufta Kausar’s name.
Shagufta’s brother Joseph told the BBC, the couple is innocent, and he doubted they were literate enough to have written the offensive messages.
Speaking about his visit to jail, Joseph said, ” Shafqat told me he had been tortured into making a false statement, and how the policeman hit [him] so hard that his leg was fractured.”
Saif ul Malook added, “The couple in their trial has suggested that a Christian neighbor they had a dispute with might have bought a SIM card in Shagufta’s name and sent the messages to frame them.
No one has ever been executed
Blasphemy punishments are often overturned on appeal in Pakistan. In 2019, Asia Bibi left the country after more than a decade in prison.
“The case against Shagufta Kausar and her husband is even weaker than that against Asia Bibi,” says the couple’s lawyer.
Blasphemy is punishable by death in Pakistan; however, no one has ever been executed for it in the country.
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