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Two Pakistani Christians remain behind bars on blasphemy charges

2014-08-03

As the Sudanese woman charged with apostasy finds safety in the United States, other Christians around the world remain behind  bars. Two of them, Asia Bibi and Sawan Masih face the death penalty on blasphemy charges in Pakistan. 

Many critics say the country's tough anti-blasphemy law can be used by anyone in personal vendettas. In fact many legal experts believe this to be the case for both Bibi and Masih, who are both accused of insulting Islam.

But, few expect any changes anytime soon. The law has the support of the government and many tribes in the country, which follow Sharia Law. 

Police arrested Bibi in June 2009 after an argument with Muslim women in her village. In 2010, a court sentenced her to death by hanging. Meanwhile, a court sentenced Masih to death in March 2014, after a dispute with neighbors.

Despite the sentence, Pakistan has an unofficial moratorium on the death penalty, dating back to November 2012. Defense lawyers have used this time to prove their clients' innocence.


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