Pakistan ‘blasphemy’ death row couple’s plea for freedom


Shagufta Kausar and her husband Shafqat Emmanuel have spent the last six years in jail waiting for an appeal against their death sentence for “blasphemy” to conclude. Now, the family of the poor Christian couple from the central Pakistani town of Gojra hope an end to their ordeal could be in sight, with a final hearing at Lahore High Court scheduled for Wednesday.

Their lawyer, Saif ul Malook, who also represented Asia Bibi, another Christian woman who had a death sentence for blasphemy successfully overturned, told the BBC the evidence used to convict the couple was deeply flawed. But, he warned, that judges can be “fearful” of acquitting suspects, in case they are targeted themselves by extremists. Court proceedings have also slowed in recent weeks as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.(BBC)…[+]