A Pakistani man has been exonerated after spending nine years of a life sentence in prison for blasphemy.
Pakistan’s supreme court has ruled that Mohammad Mansha was falsely accused and there was a lack of evidence against him.
exonerated a man convicted of blasphemy after he served nine years of a life sentence in prison.
The 58-year-old was arrested in September 2008 after the imam of a mosque in the Bahawalnagar district in Punjab accused him of desecrating a copy of the Quran, according to reports.
The following year he was convicted of blasphemy and jailed for life.
After his conviction was upheld in 2014 the case moved to the Supreme Court.
His lawyer argued that Mansha had been accused after a complaint by someone who had hearing and speech impediments and therefore could not give adequate testimony.
The prosecution said there was no scientific evidence against Mansha, and that a faulty police investigation led to his acquittal.
“The influence of a given religion in a nation ought never to mean that citizens of another religion can be subject to discrimination in social life or, even worse, that violence against them can be tolerated.”...
- Pope Emeritus Benedict
“There is a very clear sense that people are nervous about the misuse of the blasphemy law, as a tool of politics or “…a mob thing […] ” he added, flanked by two Pakistani bishops. He earlier told reporters: “Equality under the law is important…”...
- Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury
“The law for punishing blasphemy against the Prophet (sws) that is invoked in Pakistan has no foundation in the Qur'ān or Hadith.”...
- Javed Ahmad Ghamidi, Renowned Quranic scholar & Islamic modernist theologist
“The problem is not so much the idea of a law against blasphemy, as about a law whose penalty is so severe and whose practice gives so much scope for allowing people to settle private scores.” ...
- Dr Rowan Williams, 104th Archbishop of Canterbury