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Two Christian men sentenced to death for blasphemy in Pakistan

Two brothers were sentenced to death in Pakistan for having published anti-Islamic content on the internet four years earlier

Quaser and Amoon Ayub are both married Christian men; Quaser has three children.

The two men were arrested in 2015 for having published anti-Islamic content in 2011 on the internet. The brothers denied the accusations, stating that they had not posted anything on their website since 2009.

For security reasons, the court hearing at which they were sentenced took place in the prison. Shortly after the verdict, an organisation called the ‘Centre for Legal Aid Assistance and Settlement’ announced that they would go to the Supreme Court of Lahore and appeal the decision.

According to the Aid The Church in Need Foundation, the men were sentenced to death only days after the creation of a commission to protect the rights of religious minorities in Pakistan. The commission consists of lawyers, intellectuals and representatives from human rights organisations. They aim to persuade the government to defend religious liberty in the country.

Islam is the official religion of Pakistan, and blasphemy is punished with life imprisonment, or with death. This law is frequently used to persecute the members of religious minorities.

However, while nobody has yet to be executed for blasphemy, many die while awaiting trial in prison. Others have died shortly after their release, due to the inhuman treatment they suffered while in captivity.

Asia Bibi, recently released after eight years in prison,  has become an international symbol of opposition against persecution in Pakistan. Currently, Asia is still in hiding as Islamic fundamentalists continue to pursue her and her family.


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