Babu Shahbaz, a Christian from the village of Kamahan, near Lahore, was arrested by the police for alleged blasphemy.
As Fides learns, on
December 30 a formal complaint was filed to the police against Babu
Shahbaz, under Article 295 b of the Penal Code of Pakistan.
complaint came after the Muslim, Haji Nadeem accused the Christian of
having torn and thrown pages of the Koran in the street. Shahbaz is
illiterate and cannot write.
Babu Shahbaz, 41, lives in the village of Kamahan, is married and has
three children. An evangelical Christian who in the past 15 years has
organized prayer meetings at his house, and many Christians and Muslims
participate in the small home meetings, asking blessings and healing
The local Muslims have shown impatience towards the growing
popularity of Shahbaz and therefore have accused him of a false case of
After the complaint, the police stopped the Christian and his family,
sending several officers to the village to monitor the situation and
prevent possible mass reactions against Christians.
Shahbaz’ family have asked for assistance to the NGO Centre for Legal
Aid, Assistance and Settlement (CLAAS) who spoke with the police and
ascertained the situation, providing legal assistance to the family.
"The abuse of the blasphemy law continues to attack Christians and other
religious minorities", says CLAAS to Fides. "We hope the story is
clarified as soon as possible, otherwise the fate of Shahbaz will be the
same as Asia Bibi, Sawan Masih, Zaffar Bhatti and many others who,
innocent, have been in prison for years. It is urgent to amend the
blasphemy law to prevent abuses. If the government does not change this
law, false cases of blasphemy against religious minorities will
continue. The blasphemy law violates international human rights treaties
ratified by the government of Pakistan".