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69 Year old Mukhtar Masih's bail for blasphemy charges approved!

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A 69 year old man accused of blasphemy in January this year has successfully gained bail from the Gujaranwala District Court for an allegation of blasphemy that dates back to January this year.

Mukhtar Masih, initially came into the care of the British Pakistani Christian Association and we paid for a solicitor and provided a safe house for the family (click here).  However, after a series of court delays due to the non-appearance of the Judiciary and court staff the family requested help with finding a Christian Lawyer.  We put them in touch with another Christian charity called 'The Voice Society' who took them into care in April and took over the legal battle.  However BPCA has continued to provide financial support to the family as they come to terms with the ignominy of having to be sheltered for their own safety, while the court battle ensues.

On Friday we received word from one of the sons of Mukhtar who informed us that bail had been granted for Mukhtar Masih on 16th May.  This was especially pleasing as a very bizarre element in this case was the role of the Local Police Authority as the main complainant which may be unique or is very rare to say the least. 

Mukhtar Masih was arrested on Saturday 28th January 2017 after a letter containing blasphemous messages was pinned to the door of a local mosque, in his home village of Lambanwali near Gujranwala. Mukhtar insists he is innocent of the crime and believes that any language expert could recognize that the writing was not his. Moreover he also maintains that no Christian in Pakistan would be foolish enough to take such a risk with his life.  Read full story (click here)

However, police at Rahwali Cantt station have chosen to ignore this and other mitigating evidence, in preference of the Muslim witnesses who attested to Mukhtar's crime. This is because in Sharia law a Christian witness cannot testify against a Muslim rendering Mukhtar's testimony valueless.

Wilson Chowdhry, Chairman of the British Pakistani Christian Association, said:

"The release of Mukhtar Masih on bail at this early stage is a very positive sign.  The granting of bail suggests that the court believes there is hope for a successful appeal.

"The fact that Police are the main claimants in this blasphemy case means that the Government and statutory bodies are uniquely empowered and can apply pressure on the police to drop the fallacious charges.

"It is demoralising that the Government of Pakistan has not yet challenged the Police Authority at Cantt Gujranwala to rescind from their initial blasphemy charges.  This illustrates a great apathy to provide help to a beleaguered old man because he is Christian.

"The Government recently pardoned a 20 year old Muslim woman from terrorism charges, after a public outcry for her release, despite being caught attempting to blow up a Christian church on Easter Sunday. There is no hue and cry for Mukhtar's release which may explain the insouciance of the current regime, which only cements perceptions that Christians are anathema in Pakistan."

Please sign our Petition calling for termination of the blasphemy laws of Pakistan (click here)

If you would like to help Mukhtar and many other families affected by the blasphemy laws of Pakistan please donate by (clicking here). Mukhtar has poor health and is in need of immediate medical attention.







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