Pervez Masih to Appear Before Court (Pakistan)

Monday, August 5, 2002

Pervez Masih to Appear Before Court (Pakistan)

Pervez Masih, a Pakistani Christian schoolmaster being accused of blasphemy against Muhammad, is scheduled to appear before the Lahore High Court on Monday, October 8 to appeal for bail. Since his arrest on April 1, 2001, Pervez has been tortured and imprisoned in a 6-ft X 4-ft cell in Sialkot jail. The daytime temperature in the cell exceeds 50 degrees centigrade. He is not allowed to come out of his room and walk. Once a week, he is taken out to meet his relatives. He sleeps on the hard floor on a mat next to the toilet. In May he told visitors that police beat him, demanding that he convert to Islam.

Parvez Masih was charged with blasphemy when Mohammad Ibrahim complained to police that he had heard from two students that Masih had uttered blasphemous words against the Prophet Mohammed during a lesson earlier in the year. Ibrahim operates a private Muslim high school that he founded two years ago in the same vicinity as the private school that Masih founded and has operated for 15 years in Chailayke village. Local sources suggest that Ibrahim has been seeking various means of closing the rival school and that this accusation of blasphemy against Masih should be seen in this light. Pervez's brother has been managing the school during his imprisonment.

His first attempt for bail was rejected and was forced to withdraw his second appeal in late August. Pray that this appeal will be successful and that Pervez will be allowed to go free.

Voice of the Martyrs. Used with Permission.