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Pakistani Christian faces death penalty for allegedly "desecrating Quran"

Pakistani Christian faces the death penalty after being accused of ripping pages out of a Quran by a Muslim involved in a business dispute with the arrested man's family

A Pakistani Christian faces the death penalty after being accused of ripping pages out of a Koran, it has emerged.

Shahbaz Babu was accused of desecrating the holy book by writing his name on it and scattering torn-up pages in front of a mosque in Kamahan, near Lahore.

The 41-year-old was thrown in jail on blasphemy charges following a complaint by a man who is in a business dispute with the married father-of-three's family, it has been claimed.

Activists from the British Pakistani Christian Association (BPCA) say Badu, an evangelical Christian, is illiterate and cannot have written his name on the Quran.

The organisation reports that Badu was taken to Nishtar police station before being moved to Model Town station to avoid 'possible reprisals' arising from the charges against him.

There were no eyewitnesses to him writing his name on the book while his accuser, is said to be in dispute with Badu's brother who owns a 'thriving' grocery store, the BPCA said.

Others have pointed out inconsistencies in the accusations.

Badu was accused of desecrating the Koran in secret - but ripping up the pages would have left public clear evidence of his alleged activities.

According to Asia News, Babu was arrested on December 30 under Article 295B of the Pakistan Penal Code.

Wilson Chowdhry, Chairman of the BPCA. said: 'This latest blasphemy case highlights the little progress made by the Government of Pakistan towards improving the rights of minorities under their protection.

'Wholly biased laws such as the notorious blasphemy laws of Pakistan have no place in egalitarian modern democracies, suggesting that the nation has moved forward little from its feudal past.

'In every blasphemy case in Pakistan common-sense flies out of the window as a corrupt and incredibly inadequate police force goes about it's business with prejudice and avarice.'

Source: Mail Online, January 9, 2017

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