Two Pakistani Christians jailed for 'blasphemous' poster

Misuse of the blasphemy law continues against Christians in Pakistan, says legal aid group

Pakistan
June 23, 2016
Five Christians have been acquitted of blasphemy charges, while two were jailed for six months under Pakistan's blasphemy law and anti-terrorist act, reported the Centre for Legal Aid Assistance and Settlement (CLAAS), a Christian charity.

One of those jailed is Protestant Pastor Aftab Gill of Gujrat, who was accused of blasphemy after he published a poster, which included the word "rasool" (apostle) for his late father. Muslims were offended by the use of the term because they attribute it to the Prophet Muhammad.

In total 16 Christians were arrested over the poster in September last year and denied bail.

CLAAS, a free legal aid center for anyone charged under Pakistan's blasphemy law, said the misuse of the law continues to rise against Christians in the country.

"People use this law relentlessly to settle their personal scores and grudges over petty disputes," said CLAAS.

More than 95 percent of Pakistan's 180 million people are Muslims. Less than 2 percent are Christians, Hindus and other religious minorities.

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