Sunday, 8 May 2011
Mentally ill man accused of blasphemy in Sahiwal
Dear all Compass direct have posted a story of a mentally ill Pakistani Christian who has been arrested for a purported blasphemy.
Compass tell us how 25 year old Babar Masih was arrested for "injuring personal feeling" under section 298 and 298a of the Pakistan Penal code, the controversial and draconian law termed a blasphemy law.
Three families immediately related to the accused victim, have had to flee their homes after a Muslim mob came to enact their own justice on the perpetrators of the alleged blasphemy.
"Police in Chichawatni, Punjab Province registered the blasphemy case against Masih on Monday (May 2) after arresting him at about 10 p.m. that night. Son of Iqbal Masih in Shakir Colony, Chichawatni Bypass, the young man’s own family handed him over to police because a large number of Muslim clerics had gathered outside their house and demanded that he be turned over to them so that they could “do justice” by killing him, relatives said."
Read the full article here:
This recent act is contravention of section 84 of the Pakistan Penal Code which states:
"Nothing is offense which is done by a person who, at the time of doing it, by reason of unsoundness of mind, is incapable of knowing the nature of the act, or that he is doing what is either wrong or contrary to law.”
Moreover the fact that hearsay is admissible evidence in any court, is a sad indictment of the little progress made in reforming the unjust legal system of Pakistan.
The families that have fled have been warned not to return to their homes by the Muslim leaders of the Panchayat ("Panchayat" literally means assembly (yat) of five (panch) wise and respected elders chosen and accepted by the village community. Traditionally, these assemblies settled disputes between individuals and villages). It is reported that Islamic clerics from all major mosques of the local and surrounding areas gathered with Christian representatives to suggest a way forward from the recent outburst. They have set a 3 day period for a decision on the return of the fleeing families.
Please pray for Babar Masih and the other victims of this recent incident.