Defending Christian Father and Son from False Blasphemy Charges | American Center for Law and Justice
  Search  |  Login  |  Register

ACLJ Profile Completion


Defending Christian Father & Son

By Shaheryar Gill1438698966259

The ECLJ’s affiliate in Pakistan, Organization for Legal Aid (OLA), is in the process of defending Ranjha Masih and his son Jalal, two Christians who have been falsely accused of defiling verses of the Quran and disturbing Muslims’ graves.

As in most blasphemy cases, a personal dispute with a local Muslim aristocrat led to the blasphemy charge against our Christian clients. (At this time, details of the dispute cannot be disclosed due to confidentiality and legal strategy reasons.) In 2011, Muhammad Taj, the Muslim aristocrat, conspired with other local Muslims to seek revenge by accusing Ranjha and Jalal of blasphemy. Soon after, two Muslims accused Ranjha and Jalal of digging up Muslim graves and trampling on the Quranic verses written on the burial shrouds.

The prosecution charged Ranjha and Jalal under section 295-B of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC), which punishes willfully defiling the Quran with life imprisonment. The prosecution also charged them under section 297, which punishes defiling burial places with one year in prison.

Initially, our clients retained a local Muslim attorney to represent them in court. The attorney, however, was absent from the court hearings and failed to cross-examine the prosecution’s witnesses. As a result, the OLA was recently asked to take over the case. Our attorneys sought the court’s permission to summon the witnesses again to cross-examine them. The court has granted our request. This is a major victory for our team in Pakistan since the prosecution’s entire case rests on the evidence of an unqualified, and currently unchallenged, private investigator. Findings of such private investigators, however, are not admissible in courts, a fact that was not challenged by the previous attorney.

Our team is preparing a legal defense that will challenge the prosecution’s witnesses. In addition, our team is preparing to move for dismissal of the charges, as there is no evidence that such a crime ever occurred.

Such false cases against Christians without any evidence are unfortunately a common occurrence in Pakistan. This case yet again tells a story that has been told numerous times, that blasphemy laws in Pakistan are severely abused, police file charges without any evidence, investigation officers do not follow the required procedures in investigating such sensitive cases, and many defense attorneys do not efficiently represent victims of blasphemy laws at crucial stages of the case. We recall Asia Bibi’s case that suffers from similar flaws. Recently, a three-Justice bench of the Supreme Court of Pakistan has granted Asia’s leave to appeal. While the nation’s highest Court will hear the argument in due course, Asia is still in prison and under threats to her life from religious fanatics.  

We will continue to provide updates as they become available.

Defend Persecuted Christians Worldwide

Persecuted Church  Signatures


Receive the latest news, updates, and contribution opportunities from ACLJ.

Make this a monthly tax-deductible gift.

We’re mobilizing our offices worldwide to defend dying Christians. Support our vital work for the persecuted Church. Have your gift DOUBLED. Have your gift doubled through our Matching Challenge.

Email Address is required.
First Name is required.
Last Name is required.
Credit Card Number is required.
Verification Code is required.
Expiration Month is required.
Expiration Year is required.
Receive the latest news, updates, and contribution opportunities from ACLJ.
Encourage your friends to sign and donate by sharing this petition.

Has Winter Come for House Churches in China?

By ACLJ.org1530885600000

In the past few months, Chinese Christians have witnessed increasing pressure imposed on house churches since the revised Regulations on Religious Affairs came into effect on February 1, 2018. House churches nationwide are faced with harassment, intimidation, and domination from the government,

read more

Putting Pressure on Pakistan to End Barbaric Laws

By ACLJ.org1530626400000

Christians in Pakistan face the worst persecution imaginable – terror, violence, abduction, and even death – and the Pakistani government seems unwilling or unable to protect them. We just made a critical oral intervention to the U.N. Human Rights Council to urge the international community to...

read more

Demanding U.N. Provide Aid for Victims of Genocide

By ACLJ.org1530279267007

There is still a mass humanitarian crisis in the Middle East. Christians in Iraq are in grave danger. The International community can no longer turn a blind eye. We’ve once again taken direct action at the U.N. to defend the lives of persecuted Christians in the Middle East. We presented a critical...

read more

Religious Freedom Enjoyed by Minors in China?

By ACLJ.org1530215092829

On a recent Sunday morning the local authorities broke into a church service in Zhengzhou, Henan Province, China and demanded that children under the age of 18 leave the service immediately. One of the women pleaded with the officer to allow her to stay at the service with her infant baby. The...

read more