Source: Open Doors
Campaigners are making eleventh-hour efforts to prevent a man who faces the death penalty in Pakistan for protesting against the country's blasphemy laws, from being deported from the UK tomorrow.
"Azeem Wazir has campaigned against the blasphemy law, putting his own life in danger. He has campaigned against persecution of Christians," said Open Doors UK and Ireland CEO Henrietta Blyth.
"Pakistan ranks five on our World Watch List of countries where life is most dangerous for Christians. Azeem's life is in danger from Islamic extremists - just as Asia Bibi's was. It is inconceivable that the UK would deport someone who risks death for speaking out against the very laws that crippled Asia's life - surely it's time for the Home Secretary to intervene," she added.
Azeem Wazir left Pakistan in 2015 in fear of his life after a fatwah was issued against him due to his protesting against the Blasphemy law and his involvement in the campaign 'Stop Killing Christians'.
Azeem was taken to Colnbrook Immigration Removal Centre on 1May 2019, without warning and detained. He now faces deportation on Friday 10 May. He is appealing against his deportation.
Pakistan is number five on the World Watch List, Open Doors' ranking of 50 countries where Christians experience the most extreme persecution. Historic churches have been subject to bomb attacks. All Christians suffer from institutionalised discrimination, with occupations that are seen as low, dirty and degrading being officially reserved for Christians, most of whom are from the poorer classes. Blasphemy laws are often used to target Christians. Conversion from Islam brings great shame to family and community, and danger for the new believer.
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