Sharia court wants only death for blasphemy

The verdict by a panel of five judges is based on a 1990 judgment that ruled death penalty was the only appropriate punishment for blasphemy.

Pakistan
Dec 12 2013, 5:53 PM
Sharia court wants only death for blasphemy
The Federal Shariat Court in Lahore

The Federal Court for the Sharia (Islamic court) has asked the government to make death penalty mandatory for blasphemy. The Sharia Court gave the government two months to carry out its order.

The verdict by a panel of five judges is based on a 1990 judgment that ruled death penalty was the only appropriate punishment for blasphemy, as vilification of Prophet Muhammad or Islam was "an intolerable offence".

At the moment, a person can be given imprisonment up to life imprisonment or be sentenced to death for blasphemy. The blasphemy law has been widely misused in Pakistan against religious minorities. The ruling has created turmoil among Christians in Pakistan, who have quite often suffered by abuse of the blasphemy law.

Recently, the Commission for Justice and Peace of the Bishops of Pakistan had released an alarming data on the net increase in complaints and cases of blasphemy against Christians in Pakistan. The incidence is four times higher than the monthly average recorded over the past two years.

Four cases of blasphemy against Christians were recorded within a month. The charges are often patently false and blasphemy is used as an instrument of vengeance in private controversy. Among Christians sentenced to death for blasphemy is Asia Bibi, incarcerated for over 4 years as the sentence has not been carried out. It is widely believed that she was framed by Muslim extremists for not giving up her Christian faith in a village where hers was the only Christian family.

Source: Agenzia Fides

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