A Christian man has been sentenced to death by a court in the eastern Pakistani city of Lahore on charges of blasphemy. 38-year-old Asif Parvez’s lawyer Saif-ul-Malook said he was accused of sending a derogatory message to the former senior officer. However, Asif denied the charges but the court did not take cognizance of it and sentenced him to death on Tuesday. The conviction is the latest in a series of harsh ish condemnation laws against minorities in Pakistan. Qatar-based Al Jazeera reports.
Asif Pervez has been detained since 2013. It is alleged that Asif sent a message insulting his superintendent while working in the hosiery factory. However, Asif denied the allegations and claimed that the observer was pressuring him to convert to Islam.
In a statement to the court, Asif claimed that charges were filed against him after he quit his job at the factory after being forced to convert.
There are currently at least 60 prisoners in Pakistan charged with blasphemy. Half of them are in death row. Although most of the accused are followers of Islam, Christian and Hindu minorities of the country are also indiscriminately charged under the law.