(RTTNews) – Suspected Islamist militants shot dead two Christian brothers charged with blasphemy in the Pakistani city of Faisalabad, 260 kilometers south of the capital Islamabad on Monday, reports said.
The incident occurred as the duo–Pastor Rashid Emmanuel and Sajjid Emmanuel– was being taken back to jail after an appearance at a local court in connection with the case.
It was on July 2 that the two were arrested by the police after Muslims accused them of making blasphemous remarks on the Prophet (pbuh) in pamphlets.
Strangely, the names of the two accused are said to have been printed at the bottom of the pamphlets along with their phone numbers. Further evidence of the charges being ‘trumped up’ came to light as handwriting experts found that the writing on the pamphlets did not match either that of Rashid’s or Sajjid’s handwriting.
Critics of the blasphemy law– first introduced by former Pakistan President Gen. Zia-ul-Haq to woo ultra-conservative sections of the Pakistani society—have long held that it was being misused to settle personal scores.
A recent report from the US State Department on religious freedom in Pakistan says it had become a convenient tool for persecuting the country’s religious minorities.