Mobile  |  About us  |  Photos  |  Videos  |  Subscriptions  |  RSS Feeds  |  Today's Paper  |  Classifieds  |  Contact Us
The Daily Star
FRIDAY, 18 APR 2014
09:32 PM Beirut time
Weather    
Beirut
22 °C
Blom Index
BLOM
1,214.01down
International
Follow this story Print RSS Feed ePaper share this
Family of Pakistan 'blasphemy' Briton appeal for help
Agence France Presse
A Pakistani vendor sells corn to motorists waiting in a long queue to refuel their vehicles with compressed natural gas in Islamabad on January 28, 2014.  Cash-strapped Pakistan, plagued by a bloody homegrown Taliban insurgency, is battling to get its shaky economy back on track and solve a chronic energy crisis that cripples industry. Economists say growth needs to be seven percent to absorb the country's booming population. AFP PHOTO/Aamir QURESHI
A Pakistani vendor sells corn to motorists waiting in a long queue to refuel their vehicles with compressed natural gas in Islamabad on January 28, 2014. Cash-strapped Pakistan, plagued by a bloody homegrown Taliban insurgency, is battling to get its shaky economy back on track and solve a chronic energy crisis that cripples industry. Economists say growth needs to be seven percent to absorb the country's booming population. AFP PHOTO/Aamir QURESHI
A+ A-

ISLAMABAD: The family of a mentally ill British man sentenced to death in Pakistan for blasphemy have urged London to intervene to seek his release.

Mohammad Asghar was sentenced by a court in Rawalpindi, near the capital Islamabad, last week for writing letters claiming to be a prophet of Islam.

The special court inside Rawalpindi's Adiala Jail, where Asghar is being held, rejected defence claims that Asghar has mental health problems.

But a statement from the British charity Reprieve, which is helping Asghar's family, said the 69-year-old was detained by authorities in Scotland in 2010 because of mental problems and diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia.

"We are really upset and concerned that they will never release him and that he will die in jail. He has already attempted suicide unsuccessfully," Asghar's family said in the statement released on Monday.

"We just want him back home where hopefully he can be treated for and recover from his mental illness.

"We urge the British Government to intervene and bring him home to us where he will be safe."

Blasphemy is an extremely sensitive issue in Pakistan, where 97 percent of the population is Muslim and insulting the Prophet Mohammed can carry the death penalty.

But the country has had a de facto moratorium on civilian hangings since 2008. Only one person has been executed since then, a soldier convicted by court martial.

Pakistan's tough blasphemy laws have attracted criticism from rights groups, who say they are frequently abused to settle personal scores.

The family say the allegations against Asghar stem from a property dispute with one of his tenants.

Reprieve also complained that Asghar's legal team had been denied access to him since his conviction.

 
Home International
 
     
 
Pakistan
Advertisement
Comments  

Your feedback is important to us!

We invite all our readers to share with us their views and comments about this article.

Disclaimer: Comments submitted by third parties on this site are the sole responsibility of the individual(s) whose content is submitted. The Daily Star accepts no responsibility for the content of comment(s), including, without limitation, any error, omission or inaccuracy therein. Please note that your email address will NOT appear on the site.

comments powered by Disqus
Story Summary
The family of a mentally ill British man sentenced to death in Pakistan for blasphemy have urged London to intervene to seek his release.

A statement from the British charity Reprieve, which is helping Asghar's family, said the 69-year-old was detained by authorities in Scotland in 2010 because of mental problems and diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia.

The family say the allegations against Asghar stem from a property dispute with one of his tenants.
Related Articles
 
 
Pakistan court indicts ex-president Musharraf for treason
Entities
Advertisement


Baabda 2014
Advertisement
Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Follow us on Linked In Follow us on Google+ Subscribe to our Live Feed
Multimedia
Images  
Pictures of the day
A selection of images from around the world- Friday April 18, 2014
View all view all
Advertisement
Rami G. Khouri
Rami G. Khouri
Silencing Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s hate talk
Michael Young
Michael Young
Why confuse gibberish with knowledge?
David Ignatius
David Ignatius
Putin will keep rolling, until Obama says no
View all view all
Advertisement
cartoon
 
Click to View Articles
 
 
News
Business
Opinion
Sports
Culture
Technology
Entertainment
Privacy Policy | Anti-Spamming Policy | Disclaimer | Copyright Notice
© 2014 The Daily Star - All Rights Reserved - Designed and Developed By IDS