Unprecedented Verdict: Pakistani Court Condemns Young Christian to Death in Blasphemy Case
In a striking and controversial ruling, a court in Bahawalpur, Pakistan, has sentenced a young Christian, Nouman Maish, aged 22, to death. This decision comes in light of allegations that he blasphemed against the Prophet of Islam, a crime that is punishable by death under section 295-C of the Pakistani Penal Code.
The saga began back in June 2019 when Nouman was arrested following a police raid. Authorities contend that Nouman was apprehended in a park around 3:30 a.m., allegedly showing blasphemous images to a group of people. He was charged under 295-C, with FIR no. 366/19 filed at the Baghdadul Jadeed Police Station on the complaint of Sub Inspector Muhammad Arshad Nadeem, based on purported confidential information.
Nouman’s lawyer has voiced severe disappointment with the Session Court’s verdict, criticizing the lack of substantial evidence. “There was no compelling proof against Nouman, and the police’s witnesses couldn’t substantiate the blasphemy claims,” he stated.
Despite these claims, the Sessions Court in Bahawalpur went ahead with the trial, which concluded earlier in January this year. Following several delays, Nouman was finally handed the death sentence by Additional Sessions Judge Muhammad Hafeez Ur Rehman on May 30, 2023.
The defense team intends to challenge this verdict at the Bahawalpur Bench of the Lahore High Court within the mandated seven-day period. Nouman is also embroiled in another blasphemy case in Bahawalnagar, with the verdict in that case expected shortly.