Pakistan: Christian accused of blasphemy dies in prison

Qamar David, a Pakistani Christian falsely accused of blasphemy, who has been imprisoned since 2006. David was found dead yesterday. The prison guards, in the first version of events, spoke of a 'heart attack' as the cause of death. His body was transferred to Karachi Civil Hospital, where they pronounced him dead. David was serving a life sentence after being accused of sending blasphemous text messages via mobile phones, which were offensive to Islam and the Prophet Muhammad.

Christian groups announced a day of mourning but are calling for further investigations into the cause of death. It appears that he often received beatings and mistreatment by prison staff. David's family is on its way to Karachi to collect the body.

The Masihi Foundation, an organisation that deals with the case of Asia Bibi, a Christian woman sentenced to death for blasphemy, expressed their “deep shock and concern at this event”. They said: “It is another terrible day for Christians in Pakistan. We have not yet recovered from the death of Mr Bhatti, and this death increases our fears for the future of Christians in Pakistan. David was the victim of false accusations. Now we fear even more for the life of Asia Bibi, who is under the same cell conditions as David, where anything could happen. After this event we call on the authorities to guarantee protection for her life and we reiterate our demand for the abolition of the blasphemy law”.

Source: Fides

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