Christian imprisoned for blasphemy in Pakistan was released after three years
A Catholic who spent more than three years in jail on a baseless blasphemy charge had to pay an exorbitant amount of bail for release this month, just one example of gross injustices against him and other Christians, his attorney said.
The maximum amount for bail under Section 295-C of Pakistan’s blasphemy laws is 500,000 rupees ($1,900), but a judge of the Bahawalpur bench of the Lahore High Court on Jan. 17 imposed an amount of 4 million rupees ($15,200) on impoverished 23-year-old Sunny Waqas, attorney Aneeqa Maria of The Voice Society said.
“It seems the judge wanted to make Waqas’s release impossible by setting the value of the bonds to 4 million rupees,” Maria told Morning Star News. “It was an impossible target, as Waqas’s family is extremely poor, and his father is paralytic. It took us almost two weeks to raise the bail amount and finally secure his release from jail on Feb. 3.”
The judge granted bail because the trial against him had not concluded within the mandatory two-year period, Maria said. Waqas was arrested in 2019.