April 7, 2015: Two Pakistani Christians have been sentenced to death for supposedly violating the country’s blasphemy laws.
The two are accused of sending blasphemous text messages in English and have been sentenced to hang. However, Shafaqat Emmanuel and his wife Shagufta Kausar are both impoverished and received very little education, making it highly unlikely they could have sent the texts in English.
Additionally, the couple’s attorneys proved in court that the texts in question did not even come from their phone but were sent from another number.
Emmanuel, who is paralyzed and confined to a wheel chair, and his wife have been in prison since July. They were specifically charged with insulting the Koran, insulting Muhammad and intentionally causing annoyance.
The lawyers arguing for the death sentence apparently persuaded the Pakistani judge to sign off on it after reading passages from the Koran in court. The lawyers also threatened the judge by saying if the court didn’t rule in their favor, they would be killed like other opponents of the blasphemy laws.
The Rescue Christians organization along with the World Vision In Progress rights group provided lawyers for the couple and have promised to appeal the death sentence. The groups are also caring for the couple’s four young children.
This sentencing comes only days after another Christian was sentenced to be executed in Pakistan for allegedly violating the country’s strict blasphemy laws.
Sources: believersstandunited.com, Hands Off Cain, April 7, 2015
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