PAKISTAN – Pakistan court frees pastor charged with blasphemy

Pakistan court frees pastor charged with blasphemyJadoon Masih was allegedly badly mistreated while in custody before being granted bail

Pakistani Islamists hold a poster displaying a portrait of Asia Bibi, a Christian woman accused of blasphemy, during a protest in February against a Supreme Court decision allowing her to travel abroad. (Photo by Arif Ali/AFP)A court in the Pakistani city of Lahore has acquitted a Pentecostal preacher two years after his arrest for alleged desecration of Islam’s holy book, the Quran, and insulting the Prophet Muhammad. Judge Zafar Iqbal cleared Jadoon Masih of charges under the nation’s penal code. Masih, an ordained pastor of the Nasiri Pentecostal Church, was arrested by law enforcement officers on Feb. 2, 2017, two months after local Muslims reputedly found 150 pages of the Quran lying on the ground. Some 100 of these pages were said to have been “martyred,” according to a complaint filed at a local police station. 

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