Woman charged in new blasphemy case
Pakistani villagers have accused a Christian woman of blasphemy in another dispute over a piece of land.
February 23, 2011
The accused woman was arrested in the Faisalabad region in Pakistan’s Punjab province, Fides reports. The local Church, which is handling the case, expressed her “extreme concern”.
According to the diocesan Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace, Agnes Nuggo is about 50 years old, is married to Bashir Masih, has children and lives with his family in the Christian quarter of Waris Pura.
She was accused of blasphemy after a dispute over a piece of land that had already created controversy with his relatives. Some Muslim neighbours accused her of having made insulting statements against the Prophet Mohammed and against Islam.
On 16 February, the local police registered a FIR (First Information Report) pursuant to art. 295/a of the Criminal Code and arrested her. Nuggo professes her innocence and says the accusations are completely fabricated.
“Bishop Joseph Coutts has become aware of the case and asked me to follow it closely,” Justice and Peace Commission director Father Nisar Barkat told Fides.
Father Nisar was in court and obtained a copy of the complaint against Agnes Nuggo, who will have her first court hearing in two weeks. The Church will find her a lawyer and will take care of her family.
According to some sisters who know Agnes Nuggo personally “the case is quite complicated: the woman was lured into a trap. Some people wanted to take revenge on her, because in the past Agnes had agreed to testify in court for money.”
Fr Pascal Paulus, a Dominican priest in the Waris Pura area, told Fides that “the situation is critical for us Christians. We need to be very careful. The Islamic radicals want to exploit these cases to attack the Christian minorities. We are exposed to spurious attacks, which have already been happening.”
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