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Incidents of minors in Pakistan accused of ‘blasphemy’

September 6, 2012

Lest we forget…

1993 – May 11: Salamat Masih, a 14-year-old Christian boy, was named as the main accused in a case lodged by the imam of the mosque at Ratta Dhotran, district Gujranwala, Punjab, Pakistan. It was alleged that Salamat had written derogatory remarks about the Prophet Muhammad (SW) on the mosque walls and  thrown slips of paper with similar language written on them into the mosque. Salamat’s father Rehmat Masih and uncle Manzoor Masih were co-accused. Manzoor Masih and Salamat Masih were illiterate. A sessions court sentenced them to death but the high court later acquitted them. Manzoor Masih was shot dead during the hearings, and the High Court Judge, Arif Iqbal Bhatti, who acquitted them, was also later shot dead. Salamat Masih and Rehmat Masih had to flee the country.

Cases below compiled by Mohammed Nafees:

1993 – November 21: Mianwali, Riaz Ahmad, his son, and two nephews from the Ahmadi community were arrested in Mianwali District for their blasphemous remarks. (Dawn)

2004 – Oct 18: A Christian, Tasneem Dean’s family forced to flee their home in Wah Cantt in Punjab province after their 11-year-old daughter accidentally put a copy of the Quran in garbage. (Daily Times).

2006 – September 21: Punjab, Shahid Masih, 17 years old, accused of ripping pages of the Holy Quran. Judge Muhammad Abdul Sattar acquitted him after one year of jail. (Dawn)

2009 – January 28: Layyah, Punjab police arrested a labourer and four students for blasphemy, all of whom were Ahmadis. (Four Ahmadi boys from Layyah, Punjab province, aged 14 to 16, were arrested in Layah — Dawn)

2009 – September 15: A 19-year-old Christian from a village near Sialkot was found dead in jail. “Robert” Fanish Masih had been in jail since September 11th, accused under Section 295-B. (Daily Times)

2010 – Dec 11: Kulluwall, Punjab, teenaged Muslim named Muhammad Shafique was sentenced to hang for cursing the Prophet Muhammad and tossing pages of the Koran onto “cow dung and urine,” two years ago in March 2006. (Washington Post report)

2011 – Jan 30: Karachi, Syed Samiullah, 17 year old made ‘blasphemous’ remarks in answer sheets of physics and Islamic studies. (Dawn)

2011 – Dec 1: Khushab, Punjab, Sajeel Ahmed, 18, Rana Hakim Jameel, Father and Headmaster accused the son for committing blasphemy and his father for registering his son as a Muslim in the school. (Express Tribune)

2012 – Jan 11: Muzaffargarh, Punjab, Mohammad Shafi, 45, and his son Mohammad Aslam, 20, were arrested in April last year for removing a poster outside their grocery shop advertising an Islamic event in a nearby village which allegedly contained Koranic verses. (AFP)

2012 – Jun 26: Quetta, Angry protesters, mostly Afghan refugees, torched several vehicles and pelted police with stones,” The clash left two children dead and 19 people wounded including eight policemen. (Express Tribune)

2012- Aug 18: Islamabad: An 11-eleven-year old Christian girl was accused of blasphemy and arrested for allegedly burning pages of a Noorani Qaida, a booklet used to learn the basics of the Holy Quran.

Minorities as the highest affected communities:

Although the number of people belonging to minority communities appears to be lower than the number of Muslims, the percentage of the population turns this lower number into a figure that is many times higher than the number of Muslim offenders of this law.  Total No. of minority includes Christian, Hindus, Ahmadis, and Shias though it is very difficult to segregate Sunni and Shia from the reports that appear in the press.

From 1953 – Jul 2012

No of Cases

No. of Persons

Sunni

Christian

Hindus

Ahmadis

Shia

Total  No. of Minority

Balochistan

3

9

3

6

6

Islamabad

5

11

3

8

8

KPK

9

10

7

1

1

1

3

Punjab

157

271

131

99

37

4

140

Sindh

37

42

28

3

3

7

1

14

 

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