Pakistan court upholds death sentence of Christian brothers in blasphemy case

A sessions court in 2018 sentenced the two Christian brothers to death on a complaint by Muhammad Saeed who alleged that they had insulted Prophet Mohammad

June 10, 2022 12:02 am | Updated 07:12 pm IST - Lahore

Image used for representational purpose only.

Image used for representational purpose only. | Photo Credit: Getty Images

A Pakistani high court has upheld the death sentence of two Christian brothers convicted for uploading blasphemous content on social media in 2011.

The Lahore High Court Rawalpindi bench comprising Justice Raja Shahid Mehmood Abbasi and Justice Chaudhry Abdul Aziz on June 8 dismissed the appeals of convicts - Qaiser Ayub and Amoon Ayub - against their sentences.

A sessions court in 2018 sentenced the two Christian brothers to death on a complaint by Muhammad Saeed who alleged that they had insulted Prophet Mohammad and posted the blasphemous post on a website.

The case against the two brothers, who reside in Talagang Chakwal district, some 300 kilometres from Lahore, in Punjab province of Pakistan, was registered in 2011.

According to the Centre for Legal Aid, Assistance and Settlement (CLAAS-UK) that represented the brothers, Qaisar Ayub had a quarrel with a colleague at his office in 2011 over a "girl issue", following which his rival approached the police for registration of a blasphemy case against him and his brother.

The duo managed to flee the country following registration of the case.

"First the Christian brothers went to Singapore, then to Thailand, but could not manage to get their stay extended in either place and returned to Pakistan in 2012. Upon their arrival they were arrested by the police," it said.

Both brothers are married. Qaisar Ayub has three children.

Pakistan’s blasphemy laws, a colonial legacy made more stringent by former military ruler Ziaul Haq in the 1980s, envisage death as the maximum punishment for insulting the Prophet.

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