Bollywood actress Veena Malik was sentenced to 26 years in prison by Pakistan's anti-terrorism court for appearing in a wedding scene based on the marriage of the Prophet Muhammad's daughter. Depictions of Quran figures are considered blasphemous in the Islamic country, though Malik has expressed hopes that a higher court will overturn the sentence.
"The malicious acts of the proclaimed offenders ignited the sentiments of all the Muslims of the country and hurt the feelings, which cannot be taken lightly and there is need to strictly curb such tendency," the court order read.
Malik's husband, Asad Bashir Khan, as well as Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman of Geo TV, which aired the daytime show that depicted the wedding scene, were also each sentenced to 26 years in jail. more >>
A 35-year-old Christian man was reportedly tortured and killed by police while in custody in Lahore, Pakistan. His family attempted to storm the policy station in protest, while an investigation has been launched into the incident.
Fides News Agency reported that the family of Rakha Shahzad is demanding justice for the slain man, which has prompted an investigation by authorities. The agents involved in the incident have claimed that the Christian, who was allegedly arrested because of selling drugs and alcohol, died because of a "heart attack" during the investigation. The brother of the diseased has claimed, however, that Shahzad "was arrested for no reason."
An autopsy will be carried out on the man's body to determine the cause of death. more >>
Family members of the Pakistan Christian couple burned to death say they are being pressured to drop their calls for a criminal case and demand the government to protect them, in a recent press conference.
Shahbaz Masih and wife Parveen are petitioning the government to get justice for his brother Shehzad Masih and sister-in-law Shama, who was believed to be pregnant when a mob, allegedly led by Muslim clerics, burned them alive in a kiln. So far regional Kot Radha Kishan police have arrested 44 people in connection to the incident.
However the Masih family says they are receiving threats to drop their pleas for an investigation. The family said they have also been offered bribes of land and money to end the case. But they are determined to get justice for their family. more >>
A 40-year-old Christian man was arrested for blasphemy in Lahore, Pakistan, and has been charged with insulting the Prophet Mohammad, the same offense that Christian mother-of-five Asia Bibi is facing the death penalty for.
Qaiser Ayub, a computer science professor, had been a fugitive for close to three years, Fides News Agency reported. He was charged in 2011 of having written blasphemous comments on his blog, and has been avoiding police ever since.
An anti-terrorism court Monday sent four accused to police custody for their alleged role in the beating and burning to death of a Christian man and his pregnant wife by a mob of 1,500 Muslims for allegedly desecrating a Quran. Police say a local Imam incited the crime.
While 39 of the 60 suspects are already in jail, the judge of an anti-terrorism court ordered four more accused to be sent to police custody until Nov. 19, according to Agence France Presse.
On Nov. 4, Christian couple Shehzad, 35, and Shamah Masih, 31, were beaten then burned to death in Chak village near the town of Kot Radha Kishan, about 40 miles southwest of Lahore in Punjab Province. more >>
An official with the Church of Pakistan has confirmed that a Christian couple was beaten and burned alive over a false accusation made by their employer who claimed they ripped pages out of a Quran and threw them into a brick kiln furnace.
Raheel Sharoon, development officer of the Diocese of Raiwind, said Thursday that Shehzad Masih and his wife, Shamah — who were beaten in the streets Tuesday by a Muslim mob of 1,500 to 1,600 that tore off their clothes beat them before throwning them into a furnace — were killed because their employer said they owed him money, and he started the rumor to exact revenge.
"The real story is that the owner of brick kiln, Yousaf Gujjar, lent some money to the couple and when he asked for the money to be returned there was a confrontation since a majority of brick kiln workers cannot return their loans in cash, but do it by working at the brick kiln. After which he started spreading rumors of desecration of the Quran," Sharoon said, according to the Episcopal News Service. more >>