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Pak court grants bail to Christian man arrested about 5 years ago on blasphemy charges

A Pakistani court docket has granted bail to a Christian man, who was arrested about 5 years in the past on prices of sharing an alleged blasphemous content material on a social media platform.

The Lahore Excessive Court docket on Monday granted bail to Nabeel Masih, who was 16 years previous when he was arrested in 2016 in Kasur metropolis, some 50 kms from Lahore, on a criticism filed by one particular person of the identical locality alleging that he has shared a blasphemous content material on a WhatsApp group.

He was charged with the offences of injuring or defiling a spot of worship, with intent to insult the faith of any class and deliberate and malicious acts meant to outrage spiritual emotions of any class by insulting its faith or spiritual beliefs.

In the course of the listening to, Masih’s lawyer instructed the court docket that his consumer had been languishing behind bars for about 5 years with no progress within the trial.

“The forensic report proved that the alleged blasphemous publish in a WhatsApp group had not been generated by Masih who was a juvenile at the moment,” his lawyer mentioned, including that authorized necessities for registration of the FIR on the blasphemy prices had additionally not been fulfilled by police.

“Police apparently registered the FIR in opposition to Masih on the strain of clerics and other people of Kasur metropolis,” the lawyer mentioned.

He mentioned the complainant had been delaying the proceedings on one pretext or one other, whereas the prosecution has additionally not introduced the proof to this point within the case.

Pakistan’s controversial blasphemy legal guidelines and their prescribed punishments are thought-about extraordinarily extreme. Folks accused of blasphemy are normally disadvantaged of the suitable to a counsel of their alternative as most legal professionals refuse to take up such delicate instances.

The blasphemy legal guidelines are colonial-era laws however they have been amended by former dictator Normal Ziaul Haq which elevated the severity of prescribed punishments.

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