Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Another Booked for Blasphemy

Chairman Jesus World Mission Rev. Zafar Bhatti belongs to Mehmoodabad, Karachi. He shifted to Lahore in the year 2010 and resided at Nawaz Sharif colony Ferozepur road, Lahore. He worked for persecuted Christians.

On 10 July 2012 he shifted to J. Salk colony G 8/I Islamabad. On 11/7/12 an application was filed at the New Town police station Rawalpindi by Ahmed Khan the Deputy Sectary Jamat Ehl-e-Sunnat Rawalpindi. The complainant said that on 11 July 2012 he received two sms on his number +923066771010 from the number +923215223557 containing abusive language about the mother of Prophet Muhammad. They insisted on registering a FIR under section 295 C of the PPC (Pakistan Penal Code) or the religious parties would protest against the police. The New Town Police station Rawalpindi registered a FIR 526/12. 

According to the legal experts anything said or written against Muhammad it comes under 295 B and C which are punishable by death. But this was referred to Muhammad`s Mother, so it falls under 295 A. The FIR is technically registered under the wrong act and should be challenged. 

On 16th July 2012 around 1pm the police raided Rev. Bhatti`s house and arrested him and his sister in law Nasreen bibi under act 109 (Anyone can be brought to the police station for investigation, but cannot be detained for more than 24 hours without arrest warrants).
In this case Rev. Bhatti was illegally detained, tortured and sent to the jail without proof. The police is trying to put all the blame on him and forcing him to take the blame.

Rev. Bhatti`s wife wrote an application to APMA (All Pakistan Minorities Alliance) to help them. Mr. Khalid Gill on behalf of APMA hired the lawyer Pervaiz Khan to defend Rev. Zafar Bhatti, his appeal for the bail has set for 13th August 2012 to grant the bail. 

Mr. Khalid Gill from APMA said, “ APMA has always defended the rights of the persecuted minorities in Pakistan. I will continue the struggle of my leader Shahbaz Bhatti. Zafar Bhatti is innocent and we will fight for his freedom. The police registered the FIR under pressure; we will appeal against the wrong section of the FIR.”

The Bishop of Rawalpindi / Islamabad said, “This is indeed a sad incident, another case of misuse of the blasphemy laws. The FIR was registered on the name of unknown person; I fail to understand that how the police is so sure that a person who just shifted to Islamabad sent a blasphemous text message to someone the very next day. Why are they so sure it was Zafar Gill? It is clearly evident that this is because of personal enmity.”

Published on behalf of Xavier William, Pakistan. Many thanks to Mr. William for his updates.

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