Pakistan: Lahore High Court Upholds Blasphemy Death Sentence

The Lahore High Court has rejected an appeal by a Christian convicted of
blasphemy and upheld his death sentence. Ayub Masih has been held in custody
since being arrested in 1996 for allegedly making derogatory remarks about
Muhammad -- though supporters say the blasphemy charge is false and resulted
from a property dispute.

"The rejection of Ayub's appeal is yet another example of how difficult it
is for Christians to obtain justice in Pakistan," said Wilfred Wong of the
United Kingdom-based Jubilee Campaign, which has supported Masih's family
and case. "[He] is one of many Christians who have been falsely accused by
Muslims and have had to pay a heavy price for it."

Masih has survived two assassination attempts since he was arrested and
suffered dire prison conditions. He has been held in a cell without light
and refused medicines. Wong said that there are currently 13 outstanding
cases of blasphemy against Christians in Pakistan, whose blasphemy laws have
been "repeatedly misused" against minority groups such as Christians.

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