PAKISTAN: CHRISTIAN FAMILY FLEES FOR THEIR LIVES AFTER HUSBAND SENTENCED TO DEATH FOR 'BLASPHEMY'
November 1, 2020:
A Pakistani Christian's wife and family have gone into hiding after he was sentenced to death for allegedly committing blasphemy against Islam, CBN News denounced on 28 October 2020. (Sources: CBN News, 28/10/2020)
The Independent Catholic News (ICN) reports Asif Pervaiz, 37, was sentenced to die last month after finally receiving his trial after his arrest seven years ago. He was falsely accused of sending blasphemous text messages.
Pervaiz's wife Marilyn Asif and her four young children have had to flee for their lives since his conviction and sentencing.
"She is in hiding because she feels threatened," Release International, an organization that supports persecuted Christians, told ICN. "She is trying to keep her three sons and daughter safe."
As CBN News reported in September, Pervaiz was charged with blasphemy after his former supervisor at his job in a garment factory accused him of sending sacrilegious text messages from his cell phone.
"This case should have been thrown out by the judge," Pervaiz's attorney Saiful Malook told Morning Star News, adding the prosecution had no evidence and he would be appealing the verdict to the Lahore High Court.
"He has already spent seven years awaiting the court's decision. Who knows how many more years he will have to wait 'til this is over?" Malook asked.
Pervaiz has maintained that his supervisor accused him only after he refused to renounce his Christian faith to convert to Islam. He quit his job, but his supervisor continued to hound him at his new workplace.
Malook said his client lost his SIM card a few days before the alleged incident and theorizes that the supervisor found the card and used it to send the text messages from Pervaiz's phone.