Pakistan: Death toll in police custody increased in blasphemy law, social workers worried

Custodial Torture In Blasphemy Cases: In the name of blasphemy law in Pakistan, the death toll in police custody has increased considerably. Human rights activists have now expressed concern over this. Expressing concern over deaths in police custody in the country, human rights activists have appealed to the authorities to conduct a fair trial. Human rights have urged due attention to the principles of criminal justice. However, human rights activists have pointed out several flaws. 

Activists have demanded that the Custodial Deaths and Torture (Prevention and Punishment) Bill, 2022 be implemented effectively. According to the report of Pakistani Dawn newspaper, "voice for justice" President Joseph Johnson said that current blasphemy laws do not guarantee a fair trial and religious freedom. In this law, the accused is acquitted of the charges despite producing false evidence and perjury.

Big loophole in blasphemy law

He said that despite this neither any amendment was made in this law nor any measures were taken for procedural changes to stop the misuse of blasphemy laws. In the law of blasphemy, if a person accuses someone of blasphemy, he is bound to present evidence against him (the person against whom the charge of blasphemy is made). This condition is missing in the law. Citing the Dawn report, he said that this is not taken into consideration during blasphemy trials. 

Blasphemy law being misused

Innocent people being jailed

According to Canada’s think tank International Forum for Rights and Security, a large number of innocent people are jailed in Pakistan on charges of blasphemy. Not only this, death penalty is also being given to innocent people under this law. Apart from this, the National Commission for Justice and Peace prepared data of blasphemy cases in Pakistan from 1987 to 2018. According to this report, 776 Muslims, 505 Ahmadis, 229 Christians and 30 Hindus have been booked under the blasphemy law in Pakistan till 2018.

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