Pakistan: Christian brothers shot dead for 'blasphemy'

Faisalabad, 20 July (AKI) -Two brothers were shot dead outside a courtroom in the Pakistani's Punjab province where they faced blasphemy charges after allegedly distributing Christian pamphlets. According to reports, two unidentified gunmen shot dead Pastor Rashid Emmanuel and his brother Sajjad, and left their police escort critically wounded, as they were leaving the court following a hearing.

The brothers killed in the city of Faisalabad by an unidentified person as they left the court accompanied by inspector Muhammad Hussain who was critically injured, the Express Tribune newspaper reported.

Clashes between Christians and Muslims broke out following the shooting prompting police to impose measures banning meetings of more than four people in some areas of Pakistan's third-largest city.

“Both brothers were rushed to hospital where they were pronounced dead,” the newspaper cited police official Amanullah Khan as saying.

The Christian brothers on 2 July were accused of distributing blasphemous material in overwhelmingly Muslim Muslim Pakistan at a bus stand.

The brothers’ supporters claim that the charges were fabricated. James Aftab, a senior church official in Faisalabad, said the men had been “implicated in a fake case” while Atif Jamil Pagaan, a spokesperson for the Pakistan Minorities Democratic Foundation, also said the men had been set up, according to the Express Tribune.


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