Christian Groups Urge Letter Campaign
Against Blasphemy Death Sentence

Christian human rights groups have called for a flood
of letters urging the sparing of a 35-year-old man due
to be hanged for blasphemy. The World Evangelical
Fellowship's Religious Liberty Commission (RLC) and
Christian Solidarity Worldwide want appeals to be sent
to the government as Ayub Masih's appeal against his
conviction and sentence is heard soon before the
Supreme Court.

Masih has been detained since 1996, when he was
accused of blasphemy. Supporters say the charge was
fabricated and arose from a dispute with a Muslim over
a plot of land. Ayub was shot and wounded when he
appeared in court in November 1997.

Convicted the following year, he was sentenced to
death. That penalty was suspended pending an appeal,
which was recently rejected. An appeal to the Supreme
Court was filed last week. Meanwhile, Masih languishes
in a small cell with no light, no toilet facilities
and no fan despite daytime temperatures of 120
degrees, RLC said. Masih's case is the first blasphemy
case to reach the Supreme Court, it added.

CHARISMA NEWS SERVICE, Tues, August 28, 2001

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