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Pakistani Christian sent to jail for ‘insulting Islam’ notwithstanding mental ill-health

The Youhanabad Colony in Lahore (World Watch Monitor)

A Christian male was arrested on a day of his son’s wake in Pakistan final weekend, and charged with scornful Islam – heresy – notwithstanding being recognized as mentally ill. He is now in prison.

Iqbal Masih, 65, a late father of nine, is from a Fazlia Colony of Lahore, a Christian community with around 1,000 residents, and has prolonged gifted mental health issues, for that he is on medication.

Muhammad Waqas, a complainant, told World Watch Monitor that whenever Masih unsuccessful to take his medicine, he would go out into a travel and scream abuse during passers-by.

A tighten family member of a Masihs, who wished to sojourn anonymous, told World Watch Monitor that his son, Bobby, had died following a brief illness and that his father had stopped holding his medication.

“Bobby’s physique was during home and people from a community were visiting to compensate their condolences when Iqbal started cheering abuse, after that a women left his home,” Waqas said.

“Iqbal afterwards shouted a kalima [the Islamic commercial of faith] and shouted abuse. Realising that he was not working normally, a military were called to take him divided so that tragedy between Christians and Muslims of a area competence not arise.”

But Dilraj John, a internal resident, pronounced several Muslim clerics and others had also gathered, hurt by Masih’s comments.

“Some of them wanted to set him on fire, though other essential people suggested that Masih be handed over to a military as he was experiencing a mental health crisis,” he said. “Since afterwards a conditions is underneath control and a conditions between Muslims and Christians is no longer tense.”

“Masih was mentally suffering. He could start job names in a center of a night. The complainant lives subsequent doorway to him, though there was no prior animosity between them and a solitary reason for a censure was Iqbal’s name-calling,” he added.

Waqas pronounced Masih had formerly been sent to an haven though that his family couldn’t means for him to stay there.

“I asked a military to send him to a mental haven again as everybody is fed adult with him,” he said. “That is because Christians of a area also consented that he was handed over to a police.”

Amnesty International’s news ‘As Good As Dead: The Impact Of The Blasphemy Laws In Pakistan’, notes: “The Pakistan Penal Code exempts from rapist charge those who ‘by reason of unsoundness of mind, [are] unqualified of meaningful a inlet of a act, or that [they are] doing what is possibly wrong or discordant to law’.

“However, a weight to infer ‘unsoundness of mind’ is on a accused, a problem of that is compounded within a context of ubiquitous tarnish and miss of recognition about people with mental illnesses in Pakistan.”

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