(Worthy News) – Police in Lahore, Pakistan, have charged and detained two Christian youths for allegedly committing blasphemy, a crime which carries the death penalty, Morning Star News (MSN) reports.
Adil Masih, 18, and his 14-year-old neighbor Simon Nadeem Masih were joking together outside Adil’s house in Lahore’s Qurban Lines neighborhood in the afternoon of May 18 when policeman Zahid Sohail walked past and determined they were “disrespecting” the Islamic prophet Mohammed, MSN reports. Hearing a commotion, Adil’s father, Babar Masih, came outside and saw Sohail beating his son and Simon.
“Sohail initially alleged that he was walking past the two boys when he overheard them ‘disrespecting’ prophet Muhammad and then laughing over it,” Masih told MSN. “He started beating Simon, and when Adil tried to save him, Sohail attacked him too.“Both boys flatly denied Sohail’s allegation and said they had said nothing that involved a mention of the Muslim prophet. When local elders of the neighborhood asked Sohail to substantiate his accusation, he failed to satisfy them and left.”
Officers from the Race Course police station raided the Masih home and arrested both Adil and Simon, saying a case had been registered against them under blasphemy statutes, MSN reports. The youths were charged with blaspheming Muhammad under Section 295-C of Pakistan blasphemy law, which calls for the death penalty. They have been kept in custody pending trial.
“We were shocked to learn the contents of the First Information Report [FIR] in which Sohail alleged that Simon had called a puppy ‘Muhammad Ali,’ and both boys then joked about it,” Masih said. “I was able to meet Adil briefly on Friday [May 19], when police brought him to the court for obtaining the boys’ judicial remand,” Masih said. “Both boys were in a state of shock and fear and are still unable to understand why Sohail had gotten them arrested,” Masih added he hoped the boys will be released on bail.
Ruled by harsh Islamic law, Pakistan ranks 7th on the US Open Doors World Watch List 2023 of the top 50 countries where Christians are persecuted.
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