Christian women and her crippled husband sentenced to death on blasphemy

Pakistan Christian Post – April 2014

Toba Tek Singh, Pakistan: April 4, 2014. (PCP) The Additional District and Session Judge of Toba Tek Singh Mian Amir Habib announced death sentence to a woman named Shagufta Kasuar and her crippled husband Shafqat Emmanuel.

Shafqat Emmanuel and Shagufta Kausar were arrested on July 21, 2013, on allegation of sending blasphemous mobile text messages to Muslims. The police registered FIR (First Information Report) Number 407/13 under Sections 295-B and 295-C of Pakistan Penal Code in Gojra Police Station on complain of Mohammad Hussain and Anwar Mansoor Goria of Sub-District Gojra Bar Association, who claimed of receiving blasphemous text messages on their mobile sets.

Shagufta Kausar told police investigator that she lost her mobile phone and frequently requested mobile vendor to close her mobile SIM one month earlier about this blasphemy accusation which was verified but case was not dropped.

The legal team of World Vision in Progress WVIP argued during court hearings that Shagufta Kausar and Shafqat Emmanuel are not educated and unable to send text messages in English and police failed to produce any forensic evidence of cell phone record and police tortured to get guilty plea from their clients.

The sources revealed and Shagufta Kausar and Shafqat Emmanuel confirmed during visitations of Christian leaders of WVIP that Gojra City Police Station officials tortured crippled Christian husband before her wife and four children to sign guilty plea.

Christian woman mother of four children Shagufta Kausar and wife of a crippled husband Shafqat Emmanuel was working as a maid in house of local Christian and making two ends meet of family.

The CEO of WVIP and its legal team for Shagufta Kausar and Shafqat Emmanuel had filed petitions in higher courts to transfer case with any other court because it was feared the Judge Mian Amir Habib is biased who delivered judgment of death today.

WVIP have feared that after death sentences to Sawan Masih and now to Shagufta Kasur and her husband Shafqat Emmanuel on false allegations of blasphemy, the fate of other Christian accused and behind bars in blasphemy charges will face same fate as Judges are under pressure of Islamic extremist elements in Pakistan.

Mr. Farrukh Saif, CEO of World Vision in Progress WVIP, commenting on death sentence to Handicapped Shafqat Emmanuel and his wife Shagufta Kausar told PCP that we will file appeal against this judgment in higher courts and continue to take care of four minor children of this couple.

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