Friday, 11 December 2015

Blasphemy convict hopeful for justice

LAHORE: Appeal of Sajjad Masih Gill, a Christian man sentenced to life imprisonment for alleged blasphemy, is admitted for notice.Sajjad’s family and lawyers have high hopes that he will be acquitted.

Sardar Mushtaq Gill,Human Rights Defender, said that several legal points would lead to Sajjad’s acquittal. “Firstly, Sajjad name was not mentioned in complaint and FIR . Secondly, there are a number of discrepancies and contradictions between the positions of the witnesses. Thirdly,  the prosecution has failed to prove the case against Sajjad and as the learned trial Court mentioned in the judgment at page 21 Para 31 and 32  “Moreover, by now, it is well recognized principle of law that accused is entitled for the benefit of any doubt as mitigating and extenuating circumstances in favour of accused as during the course of investigation original cell phone having number along with sim card through which derogatory messages were sent to the complainant , were not recovered from the possession of the accused or on his pointation,”.He further said each of these points was sufficient for  acquittal.
The LEAD-Legal Evangelical Association Development has filed a petition in Lahore High Court for to hear the appeal against the conviction and the Court set December 7 for regular hearing.

On December 7,Sardar Mushtaq Gill,Javaid Sohotra,Aric John along with Sajjad family members appeared in the Lahore High Court and the appeal admitted for hearing for notice.

The Christian Sajjad Masih Gill,31, was accused of sending blasphemous texts and sentenced to life imprisonment and fined Rs.200,000/- (About $ 2000 US) for blasphemy on July 13,2013 in Gojra.

We at LEAD provide free legal assistance and advocacy to those victims of religious discrimination and violence who can not afford to bear heavy legal cost of counsels and it is only possible with your support and our request to support our work for such poor victim. We are grateful for those who are praying for us and financially supporting our work.

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