The Christian man out on bail may be killed on his way to court, his lawyer fears
Nadeem Samson, a Christian accused of blasphemy in 2017, was granted bail by the Supreme Court of Pakistan on June 6. (Photo supplied)
Nadeem Samson, a 42-year-old Christian imprisoned on blasphemy charges in 2017 for posting objectionable content on Facebook, has finally been granted bail by the Supreme Court of Pakistan
His lawyer Saif ul Malook described it as “a historic bail, a very special judgment from the Supreme Court.”
The June 6 judgment by Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah was a first in Pakistan’s judicial history, Malook said while hoping it will act as a precedent to help other victims of blasphemy charges.
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“The case against Nadeem Samson remains pending in the District Court Lahore and could take years to be finalized. Blasphemy charges place the accused at substantial risk. He can be killed while going to court,” the lawyer said.
Courts in Pakistan are known to regularly dismiss bail appeals by victims of the blasphemy law, especially when the charges made are serious, non-bailable and punishable with a death penalty
Malook referred to Section 497 of the Code of Criminal Procedure which stipulates that “when any person accused of any non-bailable offense is arrested or detained without warrant by an officer in charge of a police station, or appears or is brought before a court, he may be released on bail.”
Most blasphemy cases are used against the innocents and registered for revenge. They must be reformed
The lawyer shared his views in a video call with Jubilee Campaign, a US-based organization working for the religious liberty of ethnic and religious minorities worldwide.
Ashiknaz Khokhar, the Catholic coordinator of Voice for Justice, urged the government to ensure the security of religious minorities.
“Most blasphemy cases are used against the innocents and registered for revenge. They must be reformed. We welcome honorable courts for recent judgments in such cases,” he told UCA News.
In September 2021, Faisalabad Sessions Court granted bail to two Christian nurses accused of scratching a sticker inscribed with “Durood Shareef,” a salutation for Prophet Muhammad, from a cupboard of Civil Hospital.
Lahore High Court on March 1, 2021, granted bail to Nabeel Masih, who was 16 years old at the time of his arrest in 2016 at Bhai Pheru town in Pakistan's Punjab province based on a complaint filed by his Muslim friend Akhtar Ali alleging he had liked and shared a Facebook post which “defamed and disrespected” the Kaaba in Mecca.
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