Zafar Bhatti has been in prison since July 2012, charged with sending blasphemous text messages. In 2017 he was sentenced to life imprisonment.
He denies any involvement and the mobile phone used to send the messages was not registered to his name. He has appealed the sentence, yet hearings have been repeatedly adjourned. The latest court date was set for 19 June, but it too was delayed – for the seventh time. The hearing is now rescheduled to take place on 12 September.
Zafar, who is in poor health, struggles with diabetes and depression. Anticipation of acquittal had been high, since the judge stated at an April hearing that there was no evidence against Zafar and that he should be released. However, delays have served to exacerbate the emotional trauma.
Mehwish Bhatti, who visited him on 20 June reports, “He was disheartened badly…. There was nothing I could do…but to encourage him through the Word of God. Please keep him in prayer….”
Sources: Church in Chains, Release International
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