179 Detained on Blasphemy Charges, 17 Sentenced, Senate Committee Inquires
In Pakistan, 179 people are currently detained and facing blasphemy charges, with 17 already sentenced, according to the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC). The Senate Human Rights Committee received this information, prompted by the Jaranwala incident, which involved a violent mob and raised concerns about blasphemy law misuse.
The committee recommended establishing standard procedures to protect minorities and expressed concerns about the misuse of blasphemy laws, planning further investigation and discussions with Senator Sherry Rehman and reviewing a previous bill on this issue.
Senate Human Rights Committee Expresses Concern Over Public Execution Bill and Jaranwala Incidents
The Senate Human Rights Committee raised concerns about a bill permitting public executions and intends to conduct a more thorough examination. They expressed unease over the speedy approval of the bill by the Senate Interior Committee and announced their plans to scrutinize it further in their next meeting, with input from experts. The committee also addressed the issue of the misuse of blasphemy laws in the recent incidents in Jaranwala, Faisalabad, highlighting the damage caused to multiple churches and homes. They criticized the delayed police response and recommended the formation of a joint investigation team to hold the Punjab government accountable for the property losses.
In addition, the committee learned that 179 individuals were currently facing blasphemy charges across the country, with 17 individuals serving sentences related to blasphemy convictions. They discussed Senator Sherry Rehman’s proposed legislation from a decade ago aimed at reforming blasphemy laws, and it was decided to invite Senator Rehman for her insights and recommendations on the matter.
Wife Appeals to CJP for Swift Recovery of Farrukh Habib
The wife of PTI leader Farrukh Habib has written to Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Qazi Faez Isa, urging him to expedite the return of her husband, who disappeared after being arrested in Gwadar last month. She emphasized the need for the CJP to take action and ensure her husband’s prompt recovery, expressing concerns about his well-being while in custody.
Despite court orders, authorities have not presented her husband in court, leading to fears of potential mistreatment to coerce a change in his political allegiance. Given the rising instances of politicians’ illegal detention, she called for the intervention of higher courts and requested the CJP’s immediate attention to the matter.