Loading
Persecuted Christians
Catholic condemned to death for blasphemy tells of his trauma
Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Addthis

.- Church and human rights bodies, including the Catholic bishops' National Commission for Justice and Peace and the All Pakistan Minorities Alliance, are challenging the judgment in the case of a young Catholic man, who has been sentenced to death.

On May 30, the Sessions Court sentenced Younis Masih, a 27-year-old furniture polisher, to death for blasphemy and fined him 100,000 rupees (US$1,663).

Younis, who has been imprisoned for nearly two years since being accused of blasphemy, was interviewed by UCA News on June 14.

"My knee joints ache due to the torture by police, who tried to make me confess the alleged blasphemy by beating me with heavy staffs," he told UCA News from within Lahore Central Jail. He said he is also denied clean water and other necessities provided to fellow inmates.

Younis denies the blasphemy allegation and recounted the events that led to the court’s most recent decision. On Sept. 9, 2005, about 70 members of a group singing devotional music attacked Younis, after he was accused of making derogatory remarks about Prophet Muhammad.

The next day, about 26 men continued the attack. They grabbed him from a billiards club and assaulted him. They abused his wife, threw bricks at his house and set it on fire. Several of the 50 local Christian families later fled the area.

When Younis went to police to report the assault, the police, in turn, registered a blasphemy case against him. He said a large mob, armed with sticks, gathered at the police station while he was there and refused to leave until a report was lodged against him for insulting the Prophet Muhammad. Younis was jailed.

Difa-e-Islam Mahaz (front for the defense of Islam), an alliance of 22 Sunni religious organizations, organized a large demonstration at the Lahore Press Club, where they called for him to be hanged. They vowed to continue until Younis was sentenced to death.

The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan said in a May 31 statement that it would monitor Younis' case and would help his counsel appeal before the High Court.

Nadeem Anthony of the Rights Commission told UCA News that police and Muslim clerics created an atmosphere of terror that led to the disappointing decision. Anthony claims the case was not investigated properly. He complained about "pressure from the religious extremists" and people taking the law "into their own hands."

Section 295-B of the Pakistan Criminal Code punishes those convicted of insulting the Qur'an with life imprisonment, and Section 295-C stipulates death for insulting Prophet Muhammad.

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google

Featured Videos

Little Sisters of the Poor press conference in Denver
Little Sisters of the Poor press conference in Denver
Family thrilled to see Pope Francis in Istanbul
Syrian Refugee, Sara, 14, Before Meeting Pope
Ebola orphans thousands of children in West Africa
One year after Haiyan: Philippines rebuilds homes, lives
An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
Christ Cathedral CNA video Sept 2014
Alejandro Bermudez of CNA accepts ice bucket challenge
'The Real Albania,' remembering those who fled
Pope Francis in Albania, "one of the most important visits of the post-communist era in Albania"
Pope Francis greets paralyzed man who risked all to see him
Franciscans on the banks of the Tiber in Rome, working for the New Evangelization
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day
Missionary of Charity, Korea
Testimony of Christian Love during Pope's Visit to Korea
Religious Sisters in South Korea react to Pope Francis kissing a baby
Warm atmosphere during Holy Mass at Daejeon World Cup Stadium
Images inside Pope Francis flight to South Korea
Dec
18

Liturgical Calendar

December 18, 2014

Advent Weekday

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 21:23-27

Gospel
Date
12/15/14
12/14/14
12/13/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Jer 23: 5-8
Gospel:: Mt 1: 18-25

Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »

Saint
Date
12/15/14

Homily of the Day

Mt 21:23-27

Homily
Date
12/15/14
12/14/14
12/13/14