Pakistan court acquits Christian couple on death row for 7 years in blasphemy case
LAHORE – The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Thursday acquitted a Christian couple, who were facing the death sentences for more than seven years in a blasphemy case.
Police had arrested Shafqat Emmanuel, the watchman of a school in Gojra, and his wife Shagufta Masih, in 2013 on the charges of blasphemy under Section 295-C [use of derogatory remarks, etc., in respect of the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him)] of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC).
Complainants named Malik Mohammad Hussain and Gojra tehsil bar’s former president Anwar Mansoor Goraya had accused the couple of sending them blasphemous text messages.
In April 2014, a session court in Toba Tek Singh awarded death sentence and imposed a fine of Rs100,000 on them for committing blasphemy.
Later, the couple challenged the verdict in the LHC, denying the charges.
After hearing arguments from both sides, a two-member bench of the high court declared the sessions court’s ruling null and void and ordered their release from the jail.
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