16 years old Christian boy accused of blasphemy denied bail
17 Feb 2017
Lahore: February 17, 2017. (PCP) A 16 year old boy arrested for blasphemy on 18th September 2016 has been refused bail. Nabeel Masih who is currently the youngest blasphemy convict in Pakistan was arrested under charges of blasphemy after being implicated for posting a derogatory image of Islam's most sacred site the pillar of Kabaah on social media site facebook.
Mr Masih's team asserted that as a juvenile with no previous history of criminal activity, Nabeel Masih should be granted bail. However a magistrate at Kasur Magistrates court rejected the plea on 7th February 2017.
The Christian defence team has also stated that the Muslim prosecution lawyers have been intimidating them during this and previous hearings. They were warned during court proceedings that in a Muslim country it is dangerous to protect a blasphemer.
Though initially charges under lower blasphemy offences had been laid against Nabeel Masih, Pattoki Police are building a case for charges under 295/C that would enact a death sentence. Moreover, they are also establishing a list of cybercrimes against Nabeel Masih, an action which is perceived to be a safety net prosecution should public and international pressure result in the dropping of blasphemy charges against Nabeel.
In October 2016, the frightened teenager was confronted by a mob of 80 Muslims baying for his blood and calling for him to be lynched for his alleged blasphemy. No arrests were made of any of the men who were inciting violence.
British Pakistani Christian Association is calling for Christians across the world to pray for Nabeel and his family as they go through an extremely frightening legal process in Pakistan.
Wilson Chowdhry, Chairman of the British Pakistani Christian Association, said: "This young man's life has been destroyed for an offence which has not been proven with any hard evidence, suffice for a Muslim youth’s testimony against a Christian. But sadly that's all it takes to enact Pakistan's most controversial law”