Target: President Mamnoon Hussain
Goal: Release Mohammad Asghar, a mentally ill man sentenced to death for violating Pakistan’s brutal blasphemy laws
United Kingdom citizen Mohammad Asghar resides in Pakistan, where he was arrested in 2010 for blasphemy. He is being sentenced to death for sending letters to officials claiming he was a prophet. Asghar is also mentally ill, and sentencing him to his death violates his freedom of speech and religious rights.
If convicted of blasphemy, Asghar will be sentenced to death. This violates many standards of basic human rights, and it is outrageous that a mentally ill individual would be executed for failing to conform to the dominant religion. Unfortunately, Asghar is not the only victim of the laws that have condemned him to death.
In November 2012, another British citizen by the name of Masud Ahmad was arrested in Pakistan for reciting verses in the Qu’ran, which is a prohibited act. He was denied bail and now resides in a cell, waiting for an appeal of his sentence. Pakistan has even denied a community from calling themselves Muslims and practicing the religion, further stepping upon human rights. If a member of that community was found out to be practicing the religion, they would be severely punished.
Because of practices like these, Pakistan has become a religiously charged and violent nation. Prosecution of minorities, Muslims, and non-Muslims runs rampant in the country. The laws are so easily broken and manipulated that businesses often target one another to be on top, and the laws are used to settle personal scores. Please sign the below petition to speak out against these human rights violations.
Dear President Mamnoon Hussain,
I am writing this letter to express my concern over your nation’s blasphemy laws. The fact that your citizens could be sent to jail for practicing a religion that the country bans them from having, or for any errant behavior concerning religion, is an outrage. The fact that citizens can be sentenced to death for blasphemy is even more alarming. Such laws violate a human being’s right to freedom of expression and religion.
There is a man in your country’s custody who is from the United Kingdom. His name is Mohammad Asghar, and he was sentenced to death for sending letters to officials claiming he was a prophet. This man is mentally ill and doesn’t fully understand his crime, and even if he did, he should not be punished. After all every single human being has the right to freedom of expression and religion. Asghar needs to be immediately and unconditionally released.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Andre Engels via flickr