Man Sentenced for Blasphemy Shot In Adiala Jail Rawalpindi, Pakistan

Dear Partners Colleagues and Friends,

We would like to inform you that the news about the killing of blasphemy law victim Zaffar Bhatti, imprisoned in Adiala jail Rawalpindi, is not true. It was rumouring today that Zafar Bhatti a Christian victim of blasphemy 295-C and Telegraph Act confined in Adiala Jail was gun down by a police constable.

But sadly to inform you that today morning a British citizen Muhammad Asghar s/o Hakam Dad, Muslim by faith, victim of blasphemy 295-C confined in Adiala Jail was shot by Elite Force Police constable who appointed for his security within the premises of Adiala Jail Rawalpindi. He was taken to the District Head Quarter (DHQ) Rawalpindi immediately as he received a bullet in his back. He is out of danger but still under the observation of doctors in the hospital.

According to the facts, Muhammad Asghar aged 70 s/o Hakam Dad, a Muslim by faith a British Citizen and resident of District Rawalpindi was charged in a blasphemy case for writing letters claiming to be a prophet. He was arrested in 2010 and a case FIR no 842/2010 offence under section 295-C of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) registered at the Police Station Sadiq Abad, Rawalpindi. The religious scholars also gave a religious verdict against him as he has no right to live. He was convicted and sentenced to death in January 2014.

CLAAS is deeply saddened on this incident and deeply concern for other blasphemy victims who confined in different Jails of Punjab.

Concerning about Zafar Bhatti, he is safe and sound and CLAAS has spoken to the jail superintendent to confirm the life security of him in prison. CLAAS is dealing with the legal case of Zafar Bhatti and also has good understanding with the jail staff including Superintendent. Above all CLAAS colleague from the British High Commission was at the spot to rescue Muhammad Asghar and took him to the DHQ emergency for immediate treatment and he is still with the victim in the hospital. Meanwhile CLAAS asked Nawab Bibi to go to the prison to visit Zafar Bhatti and see if he was safe.

CLAAS is happy that Zafar Bhatti is safe and really sad due to this unpleasant incident of murder attempt on Muhammad Asghar a British National.

CLAAS urged the Government of Pakistan to assure the life security of blasphemy victims with in the prisons of Punjab we have to say with a heavy heart that if the police is involve in such incidents who will provide security????

We ask your prayers for the life safety of all blasphemy victims confined in the prisons of Punjab and especially prayer for Zafar Bhatti, Asia Bibi and Sawan Masih in which CLAAS providing legal assistance.

In Solidarity,