Pakistani Christian couple receive death sentence for text about Prophet Muhammad

Shafqat Emmanuel and Shagufta Kausar were found guilty of blasphemy.
By Evan Bleier  |  Updated April 6, 2014 at 2:34 PM
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GOJRA , Pakistan, April 6 (UPI) -- A Christian couple in Pakistani has received a death sentence for blasphemy after allegedly sending a text message that criticized the Prophet Muhammed.

Shafqat Emmanuel and Shagufta Kausar were found guilty of sending the text to the imam of their local mosque in of Gojra.

Pakistan defines blasphemy as “the act of insulting or showing contempt or lack of reverence for God.”

“Touqir Ashraf advocate and some other Islamist lawyers from Lahore, who were representing the complainants, openly pressurized the judge during the jail trial of the accused. Even on Friday, the complainants’ lawyers kept reciting Quranic verses referring to death for blasphemers, and said that they were willing to become Ghazi Ilamdin Shaheed and Mumtaz Qadri if the judge did not convict the accused,” the couple’s lawyer, Nadeem Hassan, told Pakistan Today.

The text message was allegedly sent on June 18, 2013. Hassan plans to appeal the verdict.

According to the BBC, “it is unlikely the couple will be executed” because Pakistan has placed a moratorium on the death penalty.

In the past, Muslims Abdul Sattar and Irfan Rafique were also charged for sending text messages.

[BBC] [Pakistan Today]

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