Pakistani Christians acquitted of blasphemy charges

 Three Christians were acquitted by a Pakistani high court of blasphemy on Thursday. The charges carried a potential death penalty. In a ruling issued by Justices Naeem Ullah Sharwani and Khawaja Mohammad Sharif of the Lahore High Court, Hussain Masih, his son Isaac Masih and Iqbal Sehr Ghouri were cleared of the blasphemy charges. The three were accused in 1998 of having written a derogatory remark about the Prophet Mohammed and have torn a page of the Koran. After a lengthy investigation the charges were dropped through lack of evidence. Jubilee Campaign's researcher and parliamentary officer, Wilfred Wong, said: "This is the first time that Pakistani Christians have been acquitted of blasphemy since 1995, when the charges against Salamat and Rehmat Masih were dropped." He added: "Unfortunately there are still several other Christians in detention who have been falsely accused of blasphemy against Islam and one of them, Ayub Masih, has already been sentenced to death. Jubilee will continue to campaign for their release and for the repeal of Pakistan's blasphemy laws which have been used as a weapon against the country's non-Muslim minorities."

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