UN human rights experts on Thursday urged Pakistan to release a Christian man who was detained two years ago on charges of insulting Islam’s prophet Muhammad and is believed to be mentally ill.
Experts said that Stephen Masih, who was arrested in March 2019, is yet to face trial. He is a Pakistani jailed in Sialkot, a city in the East Punjab province where he lived. Masih’s family denied the allegation of blasphemy and said he was mentally ill.
UN experts also said they were concerned about the lack of medical care they received. He said that medical reviews to assess Christ’s mental health and fitness to stand trial were “repeatedly delayed,” and that Christ was being held in a prison cell with Muslim prisoners, allowing him to Endangered.
In Thursday’s statement, UN experts said they were “seriously concerned by the persecution and ongoing detention of Mr. Masih on the grounds of blasphemy, and by his treatment at the hands of judicial and prison authorities that could affect his psychosocial disability and health.” was aware of the situation.”
Pakistan has been under pressure over the country’s blasphemy laws. Rights groups say accusations of blasphemy are often used to intimidate religious minorities and set personal accounts.
Thursday’s demand comes as thousands of Islamists are rallying in the eastern city of Lahore in another case demanding the release of Saad Rizvi, the leader of a radical Islamist political party, who was arrested in April for his portrayal of Islam’s prophet Muhammad. In protest against France was arrested. Police in Lahore were preparing for a crackdown on Thursday night to disperse Rizvi’s supporters, who had warned that they would head to Islamabad on Friday if Rizvi was not released under a recent court order. Will march
Officials say they have already challenged the court’s order for Rizvi’s release and Rizvi’s supporters should wait for the court’s final order. Rizvi’s party has held violent rallies in support of blasphemy laws in recent years.
In Masih’s case, UN experts urged Pakistan to drop the charges against him and ensure the safety of the man and his family. He said that Masih was arrested after an argument with one of his neighbors in Sialkot, where a group of Muslims had accused him of committing blasphemy.
The house of Christ’s family was also set on fire.
Masih’s bail request was rejected by a court in August. Another court will hear Masih’s bail application on Friday.
UN experts urged Pakistan to “comply with its international human rights obligations”, repeal its anti-blasphemy laws and “take measures to combat the advocacy of religious hatred that incites discrimination and violence”. “
A Punjab governor in Islamabad was shot dead by his own guard in 2011 after he defended a Christian woman, Asiya Bibi, who was accused of blasphemy. He was acquitted after spending eight years on the death row and left Pakistan to join his family following threats.
Credit: www.independent.co.uk /