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     May 6, 2017
 Internationalzafer bhatti Christian Voice has come to learn that another Pakistani
Christian man has been sentenced to life imprisonment under Pakistan’s blasphemy law, despite the absence of evidence to support  the charge against him.

    According to CLAAS, Bhatti was charged under blasphemy law section 295C and telegraph act section 25D in 2012 for sending blasphemous text messages from his mobile phone, a phone which is was not registered to his name. He denies the charges. He has been held in prison since that time.

Pakistani courts frequently issue death sentences in blasphemy cases, but the court in Rawalpindi sentenced Bhatti to life in prison, perhaps because the evidence against him was not enough.

"The Blasphemy Law in Pakistan is constantly being used to seek revenge regarding personal disputes, political reasons or other economic reasons”.

Recently, the National Assembly of Pakistan has approved a resolution calling for measures to prevent such abuses and the introduction of some safeguards. However, such demands have met strong opposition in Islamic movements and parties

Pakistani Christians and human-rights advocates have repeatedly called for change in the country’s blasphemy law, which leaves enormous scope of abuse, allowing for false accusations. But legislators have hesitated to amend the law, and courts have been leery of finding defendants innocent, because of pressure tactics by Muslim militants.

Two high ranking politician Shahbaz Bhatti, Federal Minister of Minorities Affair and Sulman Taseer, Governor of Punjab Pakistan gave their lives to stop the misuse of the blasphemy law.

Christians and other religious minorities of Pakistan continue living under fear because anyone can falsely accuse them for personal reasons.

Kindly pray for Christians and people of Pakistan. May God Almighty protect them this kind of victimization and bring peace to their lives. Please pray for the government and courts of Pakistan also that God Almighty may give them wisdom and courage to protect others like Zafer Bhatti. 

International Christian Voice    

Exclusive footage of Shahbaz Bhatti\'s interview

Pakistani Christian Asylum Seeker Dies in IDC, Bangkok, Thailand

International Christian Voice (ICV) is very saddened to learn that 36-year-old Pakistani Christian asylum seeker Mr. Ijaz Paras Masih has died in Bangkok, Thailand while in an Immigration Detention Centre. He had been facing serious health concerns for many months and succumbed to his illness on May 26, 2017 due to a lack of medical treatment.

In the IDC, his health deteriorated substantially. His first heart attack occurred last year and he had become paralyzed since. He repeatedly requested Thai officials in the IDC to provide him with the appropriate medical treatment but it was not provided to him, ultimately leading  to  his death. Ijaz Masih is sadly not the first Pakistani Christian who has died inside a detention centre due to the negligence of Thai Authorities and local UNHCR officials. Many other individuals and families continue to suffer from the maltreatment and inhumane conditions inside Thai IDCs.

   Ijaz Paras Masih

 

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Backgrounder - Diefenbaker Award and Recipients Shahbaz Bhatti

Shahbaz Bhatti was elected to the National Assembly of Pakistan in 2008 and named Federal Minister for Minorities a portfolio he accepted because of the opportunity it offered to defend the oppressed and marginalized of Pakistan.

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