According to the Union of Catholic Asian News (UCAN), a Christian man accused of blasphemy was recently granted bail by the Supreme Court of Pakistan. Freed from imprisonment, however, the Christian’s lawyer fears for the safety of his client.
Nadeem Samson, a 42-year-old Christian, was arrested on blasphemy charges in 2017 for allegedly posting blasphemous content on Facebook. On June 6, however, the Supreme Court of Pakistan granted Samson bail.
Samson’s attorney, however, still believes there is a long road ahead for his client.
“The case against Nadeem Samson remains pending in the District Court Lahore and could take years to be finalized,” Saif-ul-Malook, Samson’s attorney, explained. “Blasphemy charges place the accused at substantial risk. He can be killed while going to court.”
On November 24, 2017, Nadeem Samson arrested after being accused by Sakhawat Dogar and Abdul Huq of committing blasphemy by posting blasphemous content on Facebook. According to Samson’s family, the false blasphemy accusation was motivated by a property dispute.
Huq reportedly used Samson’s phone number, posted on Samson’s herbal medicine website, to create a fake Facebook account in Samson’s name. Huq and Dogar posted blasphemous content to this Facebook account and used it to falsely accuse Samson of blasphemy.
In response to the accusation, police raided Samson’s home, confiscated his mobile phone and laptop computer, and arrested Samson. In police custody, Samson was tortured into giving a false confession.
In Pakistan, false accusations of blasphemy are widespread and often motivated by personal vendettas or religious hatred. Accusations are highly inflammatory and have the potential to spark mob lynchings, vigilante murders, and mass protests.