Christian in Pakistan Sentenced to Life, but Luckily Released

Ben Barrack is a member of RescueChristians.org.


s1On July 13, 2013, Sajjad Masih, a young Christian man, was sentenced to life in prison by Mian Shahzad Raza, the additional session Judge of Gojra, a city of Toba Tek Singh District in the Punjab province of Pakistan. The prosecution failed to provide any evidence against Sajjad, but the judge still sentenced him to life in prison.

Sajjad was accused – under the strict blasphemy law – of violating section 295-C and 25-D of the Telegraph ACT and the FIR (criminal complaint) was registered by Tariq Saleem, who was a resident of Kot Ghulam Mohammad city Gojra.

On Dec. 29, 2011, Sajjad Masih, through his lawyer Javed Masih, surrendered to police, as they were regularly harassing his family. The police tortured him to extract a confession for a crime he did not commit.

Gojra City is a very sensitive area for blasphemy cases. Earlier in 2009, due to a similar case, Muslims set ablaze the Christian colony and eight people were burned alive. The fire was started from the Korian Village, Dist. Toba Tek Singh and hundreds of houses were turned to ashes. Many families fled their homes and shifted to other areas of the country.

The area is also known as the home of the banned militant organization Lashkar e Jhangvi. It was reported earlier that the local government is backing up this organization and even after July 13, when Sajjad Masih was sentenced, hundreds of Muslims protested on the road of Gojra city to change his sentence of life in prison to a death sentence. They put banners all over the Gojra city.

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“The Only punishment for the blasphemer: Cut his head from the body. Life in prison is not acceptable… not acceptable… not acceptable.”

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“Immediately Hang the Blasphemer and revoke the lifetime imprisonment. Oh ruler, act sanely.”

After we found out other NGOs had botched this sensitive case, by request from the family of Sajjad Masih, we decided to provide resources and try to help and secure Sajjid’s release. We helped the persecuted young man and his family with a legal team. Our lawyers, Mr. Javed Masih, Mr. Tariq Iqbal and Mr. Nadeem Hassan, filed an appeal against the judgement dated 13/7/2013 in the high court of Lahore. We also filed an acquittal application in the high court of Lahore.

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Sajjad Family and Legal Team

It is quite unusual and surprising that two FIRs (criminal complaints) were registered against Sajjad Masih for the same offense (FIR number 820/2011 and 80/2012 under section 295-C).

We believed that G-d would help us rescue Sajjad Masih and restore his freedom, reuniting him with his family. And we were right. He was recently released, and thanks very much to RescueChristians.org.

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  • Aizino Smith

    We are leaving Afghanistan. We do not need the supply route thru Pakistan anymore.

    Pakistan;s help in the war on terror is of dubious value. They created the Taliban. they also kept assisting the Taliban after 911. the also fund , train and assist Terrorist groups they created to attack India.

    If their leader are not strong enough to stop their intelligence service, the ISI, for supporting terrorists and protect the Christian minority and suppress home grown radical groups, then we cannot afford them. That is if the leaders are not active plotters.

    Pakistanis leaders do not want to explain to their people that they need to be civil to non-Muslims. Well let them explain that 1 billion dollars in foreign aid was cut and their economy is tanking.

    We cannot afford their avarice and lies.

  • Chezwick

    If history is any guide, he better leave Pakistan in a hurry.

    There was a Christian boy who was accused of writing a blasphemous insult about the “Prophet” Muhammad a few years ago. When it was determined he was illiterate, he was released. A month or two later, he was shot to death.

    And there was the case of a Pakistani air-force officer back in the 80s who converted to Christianity and was imprisoned for his “crime”. Because of international pressure, he was ordered released, but literally right outside the court-house, he was shot to death.

    I’m telling you folks, Sajjad Masid is a marked man for as long as he remains in Pakistan.

    • defcon 4

      I remember a Christian pastor in Pakistain was arrested and imprisoned for committing blasphemy, but was disappeared from police custody before his trial and never heard from again. It’s strange how the Pakistaini police didn’t seem to have any information on just exactly who took the poor man out of custody or when.

  • Aizino Smith

    The Pakistan budget is about 23.5 billion a year. Our aid varies form 1 to 1.5 billion a year (or 4% to 6%).

    If their budget/system is tight, then a 1 billion cut will be felt throughout the economy. If people do not get their cut political factions might start realigning and they might go after each other.

    a system based on patronage, unearned income and graft is not one that should survive.

  • defcon 4

    “The police tortured him to extract a confession for a crime he did not commit.”
    Sounds a lot like the Inquisition, but I’m sure it’s been a part of islam0nazi jurisprudence for a lot longer than that. Pakistain has nukes too, which is a comforting thought ain’t it?

  • Veracious_one

    Dead man walking…..the pious Muslims demanding his death will hunt him down and execute him…..that’s the way pious Muslims treat Christians who are convicted of blasphemy and released from prison….the pious Muslims are just an extension of the Muslim prison system….and the killers won;t be arrested….

  • maqbool masih khokhar

    All Pakistan Christian League General Secretary Sindh Mr.
    Maqbool Masih Khokhar had been attacked by some unknown people on
    27-08-2013 at midnight. DIG Hyderabad , DPO & SHO concerned had been
    informed in written very next day.

  • maqbool masih khokhar

    Maqbool Masih Khokhar