A Pakistani Christian pastor was shot and killed by a police officer while in jail in Pakistan for blasphemy charges. The officer also shot and wounded another man who had been accused of the same charge.
The pastor, Zafar Bhatti worked as a human rights activist for Christians; Bhatti had been charged with blasphemy in 2012 when he allegedly sent text messages that spoke against the Prophet Mohammed’s mother.
Briton Muhammad Asghar, who survived the shooting had been charged with blasphemy in 2010 and sentenced to death for writing letters that claimed he was a prophet. Asghar had been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia.
The men were held in the same prison cell; Bhatti had received death threats.
Xavier Williams speaking for human rights group Life for All said, "This is a barbaric act. There had been threats. The court should have instructed police to ensure Bhatti's safety. Killing of a person who was falsely accused is mockery of the judicial system. The protectors of the innocent have become the predators."
Publication date: September 26, 2014