Yaqoob Bashir, who is from the Mirpurkhas area of the Sindh Province and has been in jail since 2015 after a Muslim cleric accused him of burning pages of a booklet carrying verses from the Koran, was praying for an upcoming hearing but his fellow prisoners didn’t want him to pray in front of them.
Bashir’s shirt and face were covered in dried blood and he sustained injuries to his face, eyes, chin, and head as he appeared in court last weekend. When the judge inquired about the injuries, Bashir narrated the incident. The judge ordered that Bashir be moved to a separate cell, and also summoned the prisoners to testify about the incident.
“It is sad to hear that Christians are not secure even in police custody,” Bishop Samson Shukardin of the Hyderabad Diocese was quoted as saying. “It is the duty of the state to ensure the protection of all citizens. If a young Christian is facing violence and torture in jail, then one can only imagine the new heights of persecution.”
Shukardin suggested that Bashir’s life was in danger.
Pakistan’s blasphemy laws, which are embedded in Sections 295 and 298 of the Pakistan Penal Code, carry a death penalty, and yet there is no provision to punish a false accuser or a false witness of blasphemy.
Source: International Christian Concern