Pakistani couple sentenced to death over "blasphemous" text message

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Published Saturday, April 5, 2014

A court in eastern Pakistan has sentenced a Christian couple to death for sending a blasphemous text message insulting to the Prophet Mohammad, their lawyer said Saturday.

Judge Mian Amir Habib handed the death sentence to Shafqat Emmanuel and Shagufta Kausar in a jail in the town of Toba Tek Singh on Friday, defense lawyer Nadeem Hassan told AFP.

Prosecution department officials confirmed the sentence.

The impoverished couple, who are in their forties, have three children and live in the town of Gojra, which has a history of violence against Christians, Hassan said.

Both denied the charges, Hassan said, adding that they would appeal the sentence.

Maulvi Mohammad Hussain, the prayer leader at a local mosque in Gojra, lodged a complaint against couple on July 21 last year for sending him a text message which he said was insulting to the Prophet Mohammad.

Hussain accused the husband of sending the message from his wife's cellphone.

However, defense lawyer Hassan said that the text originated from a cellphone which the couple had lost some time before the incident, so they could not have sent the message.

The defense lawyer said that the couple had suspected rivals of implicating them into blasphemy case to settle personal scores and that they had ties with the complainant.

Pakistan has extremely strict laws against defaming Islam, including the death penalty for insulting the Prophet Mohammed, and rights campaigners say they are often used to settle personal disputes.

In 2009 a mob attacked a Christian neighborhood in Gojra and burned 77 houses and killed at least seven people after rumors that a Quran had been desecrated.

On March 27 another Christian man Sawan Masih was sentenced to death in eastern city of Lahore for insulting the Prophet Mohammad during the course of a conversation with a Muslim friend in the Joseph Colony neighborhood in March last year.



islam has to end ASAP. this is going too far now someone has to educate those motherfuckers and drag them to the 21st century.

C'mon Islam..wake up. You say peace be to you when you meet and then give death sentences to parents of young children! Where is the mercy here? Where is the forgiveness here? Please Islam, wake up.

Poor Christian people....Shame on you Pakistan!!!!!

Anyone who would even entertain the thought of death upon another, Is a disgrace to his/her religion.
But Hey! what can you expect from men In a power position, who seriously charge a 9 month old baby with attempted murder?

Shame on you Pakistan.

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