| Pakistan court grants bail to chief suspect in oven killings of Christian couple
| Wednesday, April 20, 2016
|A Pakistani court has granted bail to the lead suspect in the brutal 2014 killings of a young Christian couple, burned alive in a brick kiln where they worked as bonded labourers, itself illegal in Pakistan.
National outrage over their deaths meant the case had moved to Pakistan’s Anti-Terrorism Court and the State itself became the prosecution plaintiff against the double-killing – both unprecedented moves. Yet the Anti-Terrorism Court allowed the kiln’s owner, Yousuf Gujjar, to walk free 16 April.
Though the case against Gujjar and dozens of co-defendants remains open, the move recalls other cases in which suspects accused of attacking Christians have never been convicted of a crime. A mob beat to near-death Shahzad
Masih, 26, and his pregnant wife, Shama Bibi, 24, in November 2014
after rumours arose that, two days before, she had burned pages of the
Qur’an, a crime against Pakistan’s "blasphemy" law that carries a
mandatory lifetime prison sentence.
They are survived by four children. Masih’s sister-in-law, Parveen Bibi, had told World Watch Monitor at
the time that Shama was unable to read and could not know what she was
burning as she tossed trash upon a fire. She also said Shahzad Masih and
his five brothers, who had all worked for many years at Gujjar’s brick
kiln, went to Gujjar to resolve the "blasphemy" charge after village
tensions grew. Read it all here.................
HT : BCF
|posted by D Swami Gwekanandam @ 8:52 PM