The Christian Pakistani couple Shagufta Kausar and Shafqat Emmanuel, who recently became acquitted of blasphemy, Pakistan has fled. Their lawyer reports that the prosecutor in the case will appeal in cassation to have the couple sentenced to death for insulting the prophet Mohammed.
The couple had been detained on suspicion of blasphemy since 2013 and were acquitted on appeal by the Lahore court two months ago. The verdict was that there was not enough evidence. Then, after eight years in different prisons, they were reunited with each other and their children.
Now that it has become clear that the prosecutor has gone to the Supreme Court, the Help for Persecuted Christians (HVC) foundation has announced that the family has been brought to safety in a European country. Which country that is, is not said for security reasons. Shagufta Kausar’s brother, who lives in the Netherlands, tells the NOS that they are indeed safe.
HVC director Jan Dirk van Nifterik: “We are happy and grateful that the family was able to leave Pakistan before they were arrested again. If they had to wait for the appeal, it could take years again.” According to HVC, the family is doing well under the circumstances and wants to build a new life in Europe.
The couple says through the foundation that they are grateful for all the efforts of security services, judges in Pakistan and aid organizations that have helped them. Lawyer Saif-ul-Malook, who previously assisted the refugee Asia Bibi, is also thanked.
Pakistani Christian Asia Bibi was acquitted in a similar case in 2018, after which Muslim extremists started a manhunt for her and her family. Although she was free to leave Pakistan, she was unable to do so for a long time. Lawyer Saif-ul-Malook finally announced in May 2019 that she to Canada had fled.