Religious Freedom Advocates Call for Release of Christian Couple Sentenced to Death in 2014 for Blasphemy

Pakistani Christian couple Shafqat Emmanuel and Shagufta Kauser – who are still waiting for their appeal to be heard by the Lahore High Court (LHC) – were tried and put on death row in April, 2014. Shagufta is the second woman after Bibi to be ordered capital punishment. (Courtesy)

Over a dozen civil society members of the International Religious Freedom Roundtable are demanding that the Pakistani government release a Christian couple sentenced to death for blasphemy.

Shafqat Emmanuel and Shagufta Kausar were originally sentenced in 2014 after a local imam named Muhammad Hussain accused them of sending texts insulting the Islamic prophet Muhammad, reports the International Christian ConcernHussain claims he received the blasphemous messages from an unknown number during prayers. The couple continues to deny the allegations.

After five years in prison, Emmanuel and Kausar are finally expecting a court hearing soon, according to the Religious Freedom Institute (RFI).

The RFI says the couple’s case is “marred by irregularities,” including the allegedly blasphemous messages being in English even though Emmanuel and Kausar don’t speak English. And according to Pakistan Today, the plaintiff’s attorneys publicly threatened violence if the court didn’t find the couple guilty.

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SOURCE: Charisma News

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