12/14/2018, 17.06
PAKISTAN
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Two Christian brothers sentenced to death for blasphemy in Punjab

Qaisar and Amoon Ayub have been in Jhelum Jail since 2015. The sentence was read in prison for security reasons. Their lawyer, this could be another Asia Bibi case.

Lahore (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Two Christian brothers have been sentenced to death in Pakistan on blasphemy charges, the Centre for Legal Aid, Assistance and Settlement (CLAAS) announced today.

Qaisar and Amoon Ayub, from Lahore, were arrested in 2015 after one of the two was accused of posting offensive material against Islam on their website.

Qaisar and his wife Amina have three children, whilst Amoon is married to Huma, a teacher at Lahore Cathedral School.

The allegations surfaced in 2011 when they were accused of posting disrespectful material on their website; however, the accused say that their website was not active since 2009.

The two brothers have been held in Jhelum District Jail since their arrest. Additional Session judge Javed Iqbal Bosal informed them of the sentence directly in the prison for security reasons.

CLAAS, an interdenominational organisation dedicated to the victims of religious intolerance, has been representing the accused and now plans to appeal the sentence before the Lahore High Court.

Blasphemy charges tend to trigger violent reaction among Islamic radicals, who interfere with the proper operations of the court system and threaten judges.

Unfortunately, “because of threats from hardliners lower courts pass their responsibility to the higher court and then it takes years to prove the accused innocent,” said CLAAS-UK director Nasir Saeed. “We have seen this in the recent case of Asia Bibi”.

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