Blasphemy accused Amjad Masih and Asif Masih acquitted by SC after serving 8 years of life sentence.
02 Jun 2006
Faisalabad: Amjad Masih 34 and Asif Masih 30, Blasphemy accused prisoners have been released from Central Jail Faisal Abad on 30th May 2006 after 8 years detention
Both of Christian were confined in Central Jail Faisal Abad for life imprisonment ordered by trial court Faisal Abad.
Background of case
Local police on trivial matter of quarrel arrested Amjad and Asif about 8 years ago. When they detained in police station there some Muslim men were also detained in a same cell. They were in two parties from different casts. They were quarrelling with each other in police station. Suddenly one of the Muslim men burned the Holy Quran. When matter went into the hands of police authorities. Both of Muslim parties falsely accused Amjad and Asif for the burning of Holy Quran. Police lodged FIR against Amjad and Asif under Section 295 A&B in police station City Jhang. While police set the real culprits freed. Police sent Amjad and Asif on judicial remand and after due completion investigation report was submitted in the court. Trial court sentenced Amjad and Asif with life imprisonment.
Both of them filed appeal against the decision of trial court in high court but high court did not give them relief. Further they filed appeal in Supreme Court of Pakistan and prayed for acquittal. Now after 8 years detention Supreme Court accepted their appeal and set them free.
Sharing Life Ministry's team interviewed Amjad and his family members.
Amjad Masih is mentally disturbed and could not answer properly while his wife told about his release.
Statement of Amjad's wife
"My father and me visited Amjad in the jail on 30th May 2006. We asked jail management about Amjad's release that when he will be free. The jail staff said us that they do not have any orders of his release. After meeting with Amjad my father and me came back to home at Faisal Abad. I am living with my father after the detention of Amjad while Amjad's house is in Jhang (Another District far from Faisal Abad). About 12:00 mid night my father told me that Amjad's uncle made a phone call that Amjad has been released and came to him right now. That was unexpected for me. That was very strange for us because the same day we met with him in the jail and we also asked the jail staff about his released but there were not any chance of his release. Then I also talk with Amjad on phone. After hearing him on phone we rushed to Jhang and met with Amjad at his uncle's house. His uncle told us that somebody helped Amjad to my house. Next day we took Amjad to Faisal Abad at my father's house early in the morning".
Sharing Life Ministry's team asked her wife that if they have any pressure from Muslim fanatic groups.
"Yes we have threats in Jhang because that is a central area of "Sipah Sahabah" (a Muslim fundamentals' group). We cannot live over there. We are living at my father's house to protect ourselves'.
SLMP team member inquired, "how you will bear the expenses of medical treatment of Amjad", his wife replied, "we are poor I don't know that how it could be possible, here is one priest who is giving us little support regarding this matter which is not enough. As you know that Amjad is not able to earn due to this sickness, I cannot say about our future". " We are thankful to SLMP who gave us prayer and financial support, may God bless this team, I believe Amjad has been released by your prayers" on the other question she said "the people of SLMP's friends (RI, HMK and other friends) supported us with finance and prayers, now I just want to say them 'you are blessed people, the miracle which happened in my family only by your prayers, (She prayed) May God shower His benediction upon your families". "My family and I will remember all of you in our prayers".
After visiting Amjad's family after his release, it was realized that Amjad is so innocent who need proper attention and care so that he could be restored as well as his family needs financial help because Kauser (wife of Amjad) is only one breadwinner of her family. Like other blasphemy victims and families Amjad and his family will leave their village. They will live like refugee by the force of circumstance. No doubt Amjad and his family still need your prayer, moral and financial support, which will be helpful for the restoration of this family