Pakistani Christian sentenced to death for blasphemy

 A Pakistani Christian was sentenced to death yesterday, under the country's strict blasphemy laws. Anwar Keneth, 40, a former civil servant who human rights campaigners say is mentally ill, was arrested in Lahore, after he wrote a number of letters to a local Imam last year claiming to be an incarnation of Jesus Christ. He also wrote that Islam was a fake religion. Under current Pakistani law, only the word of a Muslim accuser is needed to prosecute a non-Muslim on blasphemy charges, which can carry the death penalty upon conviction. Keneth pleaded guilty to the charges and refused to accept legal assistance for his hearing. The death sentence has to be ratified by a higher court before it can be carried out. Khalid Gill, a spokesman for the Christian Liberation Front, which lobbies for the interests of the small Christian community in Pakistan said: "We think justice has not been done in the case of Anwar Keneth. Keneth should have been treated at a mental hospital."

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