Pak court grants bail to Christian man arrested about 5 years ago on blasphemy charges

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A Pakistani court has granted bail to a Christian man, who was arrested about 5 years ago on charges of sharing an alleged blasphemous content material on a social media platform.

The Lahore High Court on Monday granted bail to Nabeel Masih, who was 16 years outdated when he was arrested in 2016 in Kasur metropolis, some 50 kms from Lahore, on a grievance filed by one individual of the identical locality alleging that he has shared a blasphemous content material on a WhatsApp group.

He was charged with the offences of injuring or defiling a spot of worship, with intent to insult the faith of any class and deliberate and malicious acts supposed to outrage spiritual emotions of any class by insulting its faith or spiritual beliefs.

During the listening to, Masih’s lawyer advised the court that his shopper had been languishing behind bars for about 5 years with no progress within the trial.

“The forensic report proved that the alleged blasphemous post in a WhatsApp group had not been generated by Masih who was a juvenile at that time,” his lawyer mentioned, including that authorized necessities for registration of the FIR on the blasphemy charges had additionally not been fulfilled by police.

“Police apparently registered the FIR against Masih on the pressure of clerics and people of Kasur city,” the lawyer mentioned.

He mentioned the complainant had been delaying the proceedings on one pretext or one other, whereas the prosecution has additionally not offered the proof to date within the case.

Pakistan’s controversial blasphemy legal guidelines and their prescribed punishments are thought-about extraordinarily extreme. People accused of blasphemy are normally disadvantaged of the best to a counsel of their selection as most legal professionals refuse to take up such delicate circumstances.

The blasphemy legal guidelines are colonial-era laws however they have been amended by former dictator General Ziaul Haq which elevated the severity of prescribed punishments.

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