Man spent 17 years in death row for blasphemy in Pakistan is released after the court ruled that there was no evidence
- Wajih-ul-Hassan was sentenced to death in 2002 for writing blasphemous letters
- He will leave the Kot Lakhpath prison in Lahore after his sentence has been destroyed
- The Supreme Court ruled that the initial conviction was based on weak evidence
A Pakistani man who has been in death row for 17 years has condemned his blasphemy by the Supreme Court, who ruled that there was a lack of evidence.
Wajih-ul-Hassan, a Muslim, was sentenced to death in 2002 after a handwriting expert ruled that he had written a series of blasphemous letters.
But he is ready to run free from Kot Lakhpath prison in Lahore after being released by a bank with three judges.
After the acquittal, his lawyer Nadeem Anthony said: "Everyone was crying for happiness … it was a long journey."
Wajih-ul-Hassan (photo), a Muslim, was sentenced to death in 2002 after a handwriting expert ruled that he had written a series of blasphemous letters. But his conviction has now been canceled
The Supreme Court annulled the initial conviction because the judges considered the handwriting report to be weak evidence and were not confirmed by any witnesses Dawn News.
Hassan was originally accused of a section 295-C offense that prohibits the use of deviating remarks regarding the Holy Prophet.
Prior to his conviction, for which he received a 10-year prison sentence, followed by execution, he was imprisoned for a year.
Blasphemy is a very sensitive issue in Pakistan and every sentence deserves a death sentence.
Even unproven allegations of insulting Islam can lead to murders and lynching.
The Supreme Court (building pictured) set aside the initial conviction because the judges considered the handwriting report to be weak evidence and were not confirmed by witnesses
About 40 people convicted of blasphemy are currently in death row in Pakistan, according to a 2018 estimate by the American Commission for International Religious Freedom.
In a statement on Wednesday, Amnesty International addressed these & # 39; mandatory laws & # 39 ;.
The organization said: & # 39; The blasphemy laws of Pakistan are too broad, vague and compelling.
Asia Bibi, a Christian who had spent more than eight years in death row for blasphemy, was acquitted controversially
& # 39; They have been used to address religious minorities, pursue personal vendettas, and commit civilian violence.
The rights organization also demanded that the Pakistani authorities release another accused blasphemy, university professor Junaid Hafeez, who spent more than five years in solitary confinement.
There were & # 39; serious delays & # 39; in his trial, where eight judges succeed each other in the case without deciding his fate, according to Amnesty.
In May 2014, three shooters murdered Hafeez's lawyer.
The acquittal last October from Asia Bibi, a Christian who had spent more than eight years in death row for blasphemy, caused violent protests throughout Pakistan.
Bibi now lives with her family in Canada.
According to most blasphemy, Muslims are involved in Pakistan.
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