After three years in prison in Pakistan, a Catholic man made bail, but for a huge amount. According to his lawyer, this case is another example of the injustices experienced by Christians in that country.
Sunny Waqas, 23, was jailed on charges of blasphemy in Bahawalpur. The same happened to his cousin, who is still deprived of his liberty in Bahawalnagar. Sunny’s lawyer said the charge against her client was unfounded.
The maximum amount stipulated for cases such as Waqas, according to the laws of Pakistan is 500,000 rupees (1900usd). But the judge imposed an amount of 4,000,000 rupees (15,200 USD) for the release. To reach this amount, both the family and their relatives had many difficulties, since they come from impoverished areas.
The Christian Post published:
“Courts often dismiss bail appeals from blasphemy suspects, especially when charges are filed under Section 295-C, where the punishment is death, a non-bailable offense.
There are cases where bail may be granted to suspects of non-bailable offenses, including murder, under the third provision of Article 497 (1) of the Code of Criminal Procedure. Article 497 states that if the suspects have not been formally charged, the trial has not been concluded for two years and the delay is not due to the accused, they must be granted bail.”
The lawyer in this case also mentioned having been threatened on several occasions throughout the process. She regretted being the recipient of prejudice and discrimination towards her client.
Sunny was released on Feb. 3 after weeks spent raising the money demanded by the judge.
Read more about this case here.