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Saif ul Malook represented Asia Bibi in a blasphemy case that rocked Pakistan

Saif ul Malook represented Asia Bibi in a blasphemy case that rocked Pakistan

A Pakistani lawyer who has efficiently overturned quite a few convictions for “blasphemy” has mentioned he believes his life is at risk from extremists.

Saif ul Malook most lately oversaw the acquittal of a Christian couple who had been sentenced to demise.

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Mr Malook shared social media posts with the BBC which referred to as for him to be “executed” for securing the acquittal.

Blasphemy is a deeply emotive matter in Muslim-majority Pakistan and is legally punishable by demise.

While nobody has ever been executed for the offence, dozens of individuals accused of blaspheming have been killed by vigilantes.

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Human rights teams say the nation’s blasphemy legal guidelines usually unfairly goal non secular minorities and can be utilized in private feuds.

Earlier this month, the excessive courtroom in Lahore quashed the convictions of Christian couple Shagufta Kausar and her husband Shafqat Emmanuel, citing a scarcity of proof.

The pair have been sentenced to demise in 2014 for allegedly sending blasphemous textual content messages insulting the Prophet Muhammad. They insisted they have been harmless. Ms Kausar’s brother advised the BBC final 12 months he doubted the couple have been literate sufficient even to have written the messages.

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The couple’s lawyer, Mr Malook, beforehand additionally represented Asia Bibi, a Christian villager who spent eight years on demise row in a case that attracted worldwide condemnation.

Ms Bibi was ultimately acquitted by Pakistan’s supreme courtroom in 2018 and subsequently flown in a foreign country. The authorized ruling led to giant and violent protests by 1000’s of followers of a hardline cleric.

But Mr Malook advised the BBC that he thought of the present threats towards him the “most dangerous” he had ever obtained. He criticised the federal government for not offering him with ample safety. Pakistani officers didn’t reply to requests to remark.

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Blasphemy convictions in Pakistan by decrease courts are sometimes overturned on attraction. Human rights activists say extra junior judges are intimidated into convicting suspects regardless of flaws of their circumstances.

Hearings at Lahore High Court within the case of Ms Kausar, a caretaker at a Christian college, and her paralysed husband Mr Emmanuel, had been repeatedly delayed.

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Mr Malook prompt the judges have been involved at the potential of being focused themselves in the event that they acquitted the pair. In April, nevertheless, the European Parliament handed a decision urging Pakistan to reform its blasphemy legal guidelines, citing issues over the Kausar-Emmanuel case specifically.

Mr Malook advised the BBC that had case had not been highlighted internationally, he feared the attraction would’ve been delayed indefinitely.

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