Blasphemy Accused Christian Couple in Pakistan Detained With Their Four Children
According to details, Shafqat Masih 43 years old, and his wife Shaguftah, 40 years old, have also been accused of texting blasphemous messages to Muslim clerics.
Plaintiff Muhammad Hussain says,” I was offering “Taraweeh” prayers offered in Ramadan after the breaking of the fast on 18th of July, 2013 in Talabwali mosque at around 10pm when my cell phone vibrated.” He states that,” after finishing prayer, I checked my cell phone and found blasphemous text messages insulting both Prophet Muhammad and the Qur’an.”
While talking about this case, Gojra City Police Station House Officer Muhammad Nisar told that,” Hussain’s call data revealed the messages were sent from Shaguftah’s cell phone number.”
Nonetheless, the Gojra City Police have booked the couple, together with their four children, pressurizing them to name someone who could have sent the messages.
The Police official Nisar further told that,” a large number of Islamic clerics had been enraged when they heard of these text messages, and that they remained in the police station until the First Investigative Report (FIR) was lodged.” Subsequently, the police detained the accused couple on 20th of July, 2013 and transferred them to Toba Tek Singh District jail the following day.
“Shafqat has admitted to the police he sent the blasphemous messages and gave this statement to the judicial magistrate,” Muhammad Nisar said. On the other hand, Riaz Anjum, the Defence Counsel of the couple asserts that,” the police have extracted a confession from Shafqat, which is illegal.”
Riaz Anjum further criticizes the police saying in order to establish a strong case against the couple they have recorded Shafqat Masih’s judicial confession. “Investigation should have been done by the senior superintendent before lodging the case, but here the police have extracted a confession from Shafqat which is illegal,” he said. Additionally, the police have also charged the couple under 25-D of The Telegraph Act of 1985 which proposes a maximum of three years of imprisonment for deliberately “causing annoyance” in addition to 295-B and C.