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With image of Asif Pervaiz (second right with handcuffs) with Sajid Christopher (far right) (© Tanveer Bhatti)
The threat from extremists means judges in Pakistan are too afraid to acquit Christians falsely accused of blasphemy, according to a human rights’ activist, speaking after yet another death sentence was handed out.

Sajid Christopher Paul, President and Executive Director of Human Friends Organization (HFO), spoke to Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) after Asif Pervaiz’s death sentence was handed down in the Lahore sessions court.
He said: “Judges in the low courts do not feel as secure as the judges in the higher courts. The judges in the low courts do not have as much security as the High Court and the Supreme Court.
“The Supreme Court can make daring decisions like the acquittal of Asia Bibi because they have high-level security.”

Christian man Asif Pervaiz was arrested in October 2013 when it was alleged he sent blasphemous text messages to a work colleague, Muhammad Saeed Khokhar, and is being charged under the blasphemy laws of 295A, 295B, and 295C in the Pakistan Penal Code.

Asif Pervaiz, 37, says that his SIM card was stolen before the texts were sent and that he has been set-up by Mr Khokhar because of his refusal to convert to Islam.


The Catholic (National) Commission for Justice and Peace found that in the last 30 years there have been 232 Christian victims of the blasphemy laws, accounting for 15 percent of cases, despite Christians representing less than 1.5 percent of the population.
 
Read more here

‘ACN is providing legal and paralegal aid for Christians unjustly held against their will, helping them fight their legal battles and providing for the daily needs of their families.’
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ACN has pledged to help Christian broadcaster Télé Lumière after its studios were devastated by last month’s explosion.
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Christians unjustly detained: (left to right) Leah Sharibu from Nigeria, Patriarch Antonios (Eritrea), Bishop James Su Zhumin (Image: UCANews) (China) and Maira Shahbaz (Pakistan)"
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Join us online for the virtual parliamentary launch of our Set your Captives Free report which explores the cases of four Christians – Maira, Leah, Bishop James and Patriarch Antonios, who have been unjustly detained for their faith. The launch will also take a wider look at religious persecution worldwide and we hope to have a live link with Maira in Pakistan and Archbishop Kaigama in Nigeria. This will be our key #RedWednesdayAtHome event on Wednesday 25th November at 4.30pm, livestreamed from the Houses of Parliament.
 
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