10/24/2018 Washington D.C. (International Christian Concern) – On September 28, Yaqoob Bashir, a 25-year-old mentally disabled Pakistani Christian, was sentenced to life in prison by the Session and District Court of Mirpurkhas for allegedly committing blasphemy against Islam. This life sentence was issued more than three years after the initial blasphemy accusation was leveled against Bashir in 2015.
Bashir was first accused of burning a booklet that carried Quranic verses in Mirpurkhas in June 2015. The case was registered (FIR # 41/15) against Bashir, under Section 295-B and C of Pakistan’s Penal Code on June 5, 2015. Bashir was reportedly receiving treatment at a mental health facility in Hyderabad prior to the blasphemy accusation.
Last month, the court sentenced Bashir under Section 295-C of Pakistan’s Penal Code, which punishes individuals for using derogatory language against the prophet Muhammad. However, he was found innocent under Section 295-B, which punishes individuals for desecrating the Quran.