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CFD Delegation meets President Geo TV to deliver protest letter regarding hate speech on Aamir Liaquat’s show

January 9, 2015

A delegation from Citizens for Democracy (CFD), comprising Uzma Noorani, Naziha Syed Ali, Adam Malik, Hasan Javed and Noman Quadri met with Imran Aslam, President Geo TV at 1600 hours PST, Thursday January 8, 2015 at Geo TV, Office in Karachi. The meeting was arranged to deliver a letter of protest to the management of Geo TV regarding Aamir Liaquat Hussian’s show “Subh-e-Pakistan”.

As mentioned in the letter, Mr. Liaquat in his show on Monday December 22, 2014 allowed the clerics who were invited, to use derogatory language against the Ahmedi community labeling them as enemies of Pakistan, blasphemers and “root cause of terrorism” in the country.

Mr. Aslam apologized for the incident and said that Geo TV has responded with a public apology regarding the incident. The management of Geo TV considers this a mistake which shouldn’t have occurred and assured the delegation that they have taken reasonable in house measures to prevent such an incident from happening again in future. He further said that the management will make sure that a delay of 30 seconds or more is included in his program when he conducts it live. Mr. Aslam informed the delegation that he has spoken to the representative of Ahmedi community in London to apologize. He said that the Editorial Committee of Geo TV will now take greater care while vetting the guests invited in the show. Read more…

Facts behind the brutal killing of couple on false allegation of blasphemy at Kot Radha Kishan, Kasur

November 27, 2014

Citizens for Democracy joins all those who condemn and protest against the brutal lynching and burning of the bodies of a poor Christian couple by a mob in Chak 59, a village near Kot Radha Kishan in Kasur District southwest of Lahore. Following are facts of the case compiled by the non-government human rights organization Life for All Pakistan.

Shahzad Masih and Shama Masih, the Christian couple killed by a mob in Kot Radha Kishan, Kasur. Photo by AFP

Shahzad Masih and Shama Masih, the Christian couple killed by a mob in Kot Radha Kishan, Kasur. Photo by AFP

The victims, Shahzad Masih and his wife Shama belonged to Clarkabad, but had moved to Chak 59 a few years ago and were working for an owner of a brick kiln.

Arshed Javed, the brother of Shahzad Masih has said that while cleaning her quarter, the unlettered Shama had found some old papers used by her late father-in-law that were no longer of any use. She gathered them as trash in order to burn and dispose of them. One of her co-workers at the kiln saw the burning trash and spread the news that Shama had burnt the pages of the Quran. “The news spread and the mob gathered next early morning and attacked my brother and his pregnant wife. The mob killed them, desecrated their bodies and threw them in the kiln.” Read more…

Demand to arrest those using mosque pulpits for hate speech and inciting mob violence and murder

November 18, 2014

PRESS RELEASE
From: Society for Secular Pakistan

The Society for Secular Pakistan (SfSP) strongly condemns the killings of Shazad Masih and his pregnant wife Shama by the crowd incited by the clerics of three mosques of the villages in Kasur. We demand that these clerics should be arrested and punished for inciting people’s religious feeling to kill the kiln worker who had reportedly some dispute with the kiln owner. Unfortunately this is not the first time that the sacred place of worship was used to incite and entice people to kill with impunity. There have been instances when some fanatics had announced hefty head money for killing so-called blasphemers and the state did not take any action although it’s a crime.

While the Society for Secular Pakistan stands for freedom expression, we demand that the state should register all mosques and the religious leader to keep a close check that nobody makes hate speeches from the pulpits. They should be free to preach their faith but not hatred. At present there is no check of the state on over 250,000 mosques and 20,000 madrassahs in the country.  Read more…

Pakistan court upholds death penalty for Asia Bibi despite serious legal loopholes in trial

October 17, 2014
"Blasphemy: The True, Heart-Breaking Story Of The Woman Sentenced To Death Over A Cup Of Water by Asia Bibi" - related by French journalist Anne-Isabelle Tollet (Virago, London, 2012)

“Blasphemy: The True, Heart-Breaking Story Of The Woman Sentenced To Death Over A Cup Of Water by Asia Bibi” – related by French journalist Anne-Isabelle Tollet (Virago, London, 2012)

Pakistani Christian Aasia Bibi had an argument with some coworkers over drinking water in 2009. The argument turned into a religious one and she was accused of blasphemy against Islam. Two politicians have been killed for standing up for her. She was convicted in Nov. 2010 and yesterday her appeal was rejected by the appellate court. Legal arguments in this story, published in Worldwatch Monitor, October 17, 2014, reproduced below (emphasis added). Also see The dangers of ignoring ‘malicious intent’ while accusing of ‘injuring religious sentiments’.

By Asif Aqeel

The first Christian woman to be sentenced to death under Pakistan’s blasphemy laws had her appeal rejected by the High Court in Lahore on Thursday.

Aasiya Noreen, commonly known as Asia Bibi, received the death penalty in 2010 after she allegedly made derogatory comments about the Prophet Mohammed during an argument with a Muslim woman.

While the two women were working together, the Muslim woman had refused water from Noreen on the grounds that it was unclean because it had been handled by a Christian.

The Muslim woman, together with her sister, were the only two witnesses in the case, but the defence failed to convince the appeals judges that their evidence lacked credibility.

Read more…

Another ‘blasphemy murder’. RIP Rashid Rehman Khan

May 9, 2014

Rashid Rehman- screenshot from Mukhtiar Mai documentary On April 21 evening, Supreme Court advocate Rashid Rehman Khan in Multan sent this note below to an email list with the subject line, “media campaign by vampires”. He included scans of a report in that day’s daily Khabrain about a press conference by Tehrik-e-Tahafuz-e-Namoos-e-Risalat (Movement to Protect the Honour of the Prophethood), where speakers objected to his attempts to move the case of a ‘blasphemy’ accused teacher whom he was defending, out of Multan. Read more…

Petition: Release Sawan Masih and Repeal Blasphemy Laws

April 1, 2014

Release Sawan Masih and Repeal Blasphemy LawsA Sessions Court in Pakistan has sentenced a Christian sweeper Sawan Masih, 26, to death for to false accusations of blasphemy against the Prophet Muhammad (on Him be Peace), after waiting for a trial since March 2013.

These allegations, triggered due to personal grudges between Sawan and a Muslim friend, led a mob of angry Muslims to burn down a Christian village in Joseph Colony, Lahore, leaving the poverty stricken residents homeless and penniless.

Pakistan’s “Blasphemy laws” include Section 295, related to damaging or defiling a place of worship or a sacred object. 295-A forbids outraging religious feelings. 295-B forbids defiling the Quran. 295-C forbids defaming the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Except for 295-C, the provisions of 295 require that an offence be a consequence of the accused’s intent. Defiling the Quran merits imprisonment for life. Defaming Muhammad (PBUH) merits death with or without a fine. If a charge is laid under 295-C, the trial must take place in a Sessions Court presided over by a Muslim judge. High Courts have always overturned these verdicts on appeal, but the laws continue to be misused as a weapon to execute revenge for personal enmity against non-Muslims and Muslims in Pakistan.

If you believe justice should prevail and human life is too precious to be lost to hate, please add your voice to this online petition.

DETAILS IN THIS NEWS REPORT: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-26781731

Pakistan: ‘Blasphemy’ – A crime unlike any other

January 30, 2014

By NAZIHA SYED ALI | Published in Dawn, Jan 28, 2014

Last week, a 65-year-old British man of Pakistani origin, Mohammad Asghar, who is said have a history of mental illness, was sentenced to death for blasphemy by a court in Rawalpindi.

Read more…

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