Sarghoda Police Arrest Christian Man On Blasphemy Charges

Sarghoda Police Arrest Christian Man On Blasphemy Charges
Sargodha police have arrested a Christian man on blasphemy charges for allegedly sharing a post on a social media website, his family said.

Police detained a 35-year-old Christian man named Zaki Masih on July 8 after lodging a case against him under Sections 295-A and 298 of the blasphemy laws following an accusation by a local resident named Muhammad Awais, who alleged that Zaki shared a blasphemous post on Facebook.

The Imam of the village mosque and other Muslims from the neighborhood came in support of Zaki and informed the police that his post was not against religion, but still, the police took him into custody, the victim’s family said.

According to the family, Zaki shared a post that was written by a Muslim in which the man criticized those who commit food adulteration.

"My brother and I own a grocery store in the Sargodha hamlet of Chak No. 98 Shumaali. Awais, the complainant, is a friend of some people with whom we are in a land dispute that also resulted in conflict five years ago. Due to the village elders' assistance, we were able to make amends with the other side, but it appears that they were still holding a grudge since they put my brother in the fictitious case," Zaki’s brother said.

Minority rights activists have expressed concern over the rise in the number of blasphemy cases against minorities and urged the authorities concerned to curb the misuse of blasphemy laws.

Joseph Jansen, a minority rights activist, condemned the filing of a blasphemy case against another Christian man, saying that there is a dying need to amend the blasphemy laws so that the lives of marginalized people may be protected.

He urged the people to be vigilant while using social media and keep themselves safe from any sort of ordeal.