Pakistani Court Throws Out Conviction of 2 Muslim Men Involved in Burning Christian Couple Alive, Upholds Conviction of 3 Others | American Center for Law and Justice
  Search  |  Login  |  Register

ACLJ Profile Completion

Verified

Pakistani Court Update on Murder of Christian Couple

By Matthew Clark1559056220500

Four years ago, we reported truly horrifying news from Pakistan.

A Christian couple, Shahzad and Shama, was burned alive by an angry Muslim mob over a false accusation of blasphemy.

Shahzad and Shama (a mother of three who was pregnant at the time with her fourth child) worked as bonded laborers at the brick kiln of Yousaf Gujjar for about thirteen years. On November 3, 2014, while cleaning the servants quarters provided by their employer, Shama found some papers that belonged to her father-in-law who had died a week earlier. She gathered the papers, some of which contained Arabic text. Shama was illiterate and did not know what the Arabic text said. She took the stack of papers and set it on fire. Burning old papers or selling them to street food vendors is a common way of disposing of papers and old books.

Shama’s Muslim neighbors saw her burning the papers and accused her of burning the Quran, as some of the papers allegedly contained Arabic text. The next day an angry mob gathered and attacked the couple.The mob beat them and then threw them in the brick kiln where they burned to death.

Around 103 people were charged with the two counts of murder. In 2016, an Anti-Terrorism Court acquitted 90, including the owner of the brick kiln. Of the remaining 13 men, 5 had been sentenced to hang and eight others were given two years in prison.

Sadly, on May 16, 2019, the Lahore High Court acquitted two of the five men sentenced to hang, confirming the death sentence of the other three.

Justice Muhammad Qasim Khan headed a two-judge bench hearing appeals filed by Muhammad Hanif and Hafiz Ishtiaq against the ATC’s 2016 verdict. The appeals of three other convicts, Mehdi Khan, Riaz Kambo, Irfan Shakoor, were dismissed . . . by the court, which upheld their death sentences.”

This is very sad news in light of the fact that the couple was murdered in broad daylight, in front of hundreds of eye-witnesses. “The state prosecutor argued that there was solid evidence against all the convicts and requested the court to scrap the appeal.” Yet the court acquitted Hanif and Ishtiaq.

Christians continue to face not only violent persecution from angry mobs but also the tacit persecution of the Pakistani judicial system allowing those who would kill Christians to go unpunished. We will continue working to protect Christians from violence and persecution in Pakistan.

Defend Dying Christians in Pakistan

Persecuted Church  Signatures

LOGIN

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

$20
$40
$60
$120
$240
Make this a monthly tax-deductible gift.

As we aggressively fight in Pakistani courts to defend dying Christians, every donation (even $5) makes a difference & will be MATCHED. 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.

Report: Christianity “Most Widely Persecuted Religion”

By CeCe Heil1565130501700

“Near genocide levels.” That’s how an alarming study recently commissioned and released by the British government described the current state of Christian persecution around the globe. The interim report , compiled by the Bishop of Truro the Right Reverend Philip Mounstephen states that violence...

read more

Appeals Court in China Upholds Conviction of Pastor Cao

By CeCe Heil1564085433957

After over a year of delays, the Pu’er Intermediated Court finally issued a decision in Pastor John Cao’s appeal. At 10 am on July 25, 2019, they announced that they were upholding the Menglian Trial Court’s wrongful conviction and sentence of 7 years imprisonment. Pastor Cao – a U.S. permanent...

read more

Demanding the Release of Leah Sharibu at the UN

By Paul Archuleta1562955960266

As we have previously informed the United Nations, children in Nigeria experience threats of torture, kidnappings, and even death by radical Islamic groups on a regular basis. Through our European affiliate, the European Centre for Law and Justice (ECLJ), we filed another written submission on...

read more

Defending Persecuted Christians at the United Nations

By Paul Archuleta1562877318204

Through our European affiliate, the European Centre for Law and Justice (ECLJ), we filed a written submission before the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) detailing the spread of religiously motivated attacks against Christians around the world. As we explained to the U.N.: Unfortunately,

read more