By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News
ISLAMABAD (Worthy News) - A Christian man who spent four years in a Pakistani jail “without a fair trial” was freed on bail, raising hope for other inmates in a similar situation, activists told Worthy News Thursday.
Nadeem Samson, 42, was released January 6 after the Supreme Court granted Samson bail, according to sources familiar with the case.
His release gave new hope to Samson, who was accused of posting “blasphemous content” against Islam and its Prophet Muhammad on his Facebook website page in 2017, Christians said.
He had denied the charges saying his Muslim landlord created a fake Facebook account to accuse him of blasphemy after a dispute over deposit money.
Police allegedly tortured Samson into confessing to “insulting the Prophet Muhammad" under Pakistan’s controversial blasphemy legislation following his arrest on November 24, 2017.
After previous requests were denied, his release on bail was “a very special judgment from the Supreme Court. [It is] the first time in the Pakistan judicial history,” added his lawyer Saif ul Malook in published remarks.
The lawyer successfully argued that under Pakistani law, a suspect should be granted bail if the person isn’t formally charged and a trial isn’t concluded within two years due to the judiciary’s behavior.
He said the ruling would act as a precedent to help other victims of blasphemy charges.
Advocacy group Voice Of the Martyrs Canada (VOMC) agreed. VOMC told Worthy News that “activists also hope the decision to release him will serve as a precedent for others facing long periods of imprisonment without a conviction.”
His release came shortly after another Christian accused of blasphemy suffered a setback when his life imprisonment was turned into a death sentence.
The Rawalpindi District Court in Pakistan sentenced Pastor Zafar Bhatti to death this month after being jailed since July 2012.
The charges arise from an alleged blasphemous mobile phone text message. Zafar denies the charges and says the phone was not registered to his name.