Last updateTue, 17 Mar 2015 2pm

#INTOLERANCE: Prominent UK figures in clemency call for mentally ill Scot sentenced to death in Pakistan

A group of prominent British-Asian Muslims have backed a call for the release of a mentally impaired Edinburgh man sentenced to death in Pakistan for blasphemy. 

In an open letter published in The Independent on Thursday the group of rights campaigners, academics, politicians and religious figures have appealed to Pakistani President Mamnoon Hussain to intervene in the case of Mohammad Asghar, a grandfather who suffers from paranoid schizophrenia.

Mr Asghar, 70, was arrested in 2010 near Islamabad under Pakistan's notorious Blasphemy Laws after he allegedly claimed to be the Prophet Mohammed.

In their letter, the signatories say they are concerned over Mr Asghar's failing health and have called on the Pakistani government to show clemency.

Among those who have backed the campaign are Mr Maajid Nawaz of the Quillam Foundation; Conservative Party candidate Afzal Amin; shadow Justice Secretary Sadiq Khan; Paul Salahuddin Armstrong from the Association of British Muslims; the Reverend Professor Michael J Reiss of the Institute of Education and numerous other figures from across Britain's political and religious spectrum.

Mr Asghar had lived in Edinburgh for more than four decades before travelling to Pakistan in 2010 to deal with a property dispute with a man in Islamabad.

When the dispute escalated the local man reportedly went to the police with letters written, but never sent, by Mr Asghar in which he claimed to be the Prophet Mohammed. 

Impersonating or claiming to be the Prophet carries a sentence of death by hanging under Pakistan's Blasphemy Laws.

Scottish experts have provided written evidence that Mr Asghar's behaviour suggests a serious psychiatric disorder.  He had been detained briefly under Britain's Mental Health Act prior to travelling to Pakistan in 2010.

His family also say that Mr Asghar has been physically weakened after suffering a stroke in prison in 2012 and requires urgent medical attention.

It is also feared he could be the victim of fellow prisoners who target those who challenge Pakistan’s blasphemy laws.

Lawyers who visited Mr Asghar in prison have described him as being "barely lucid".

A spokesperson for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office told the Independent that the British Government was dedicated to preventing the execution of a UK national.

“We will continue to provide consular assistance to Mr Asghar and his family during this difficult time.  We have continuously made representations to the Pakistan government on behalf of Mr Asghar and we will continue to do so.”

No one has been executed in Pakistan since a moratorium on the death penalty in 2008. 

A second British man, Masud Ahmad, 72, originally from Glasgow, is currently on bail in Lahore also on blasphemy charges.

He was allegedly tricked into publicly reading from the Koran – an act which is forbidden for members of the minority Ahmadi sect to which he belongs. He now faces three years in jail.



Related Articles

Photo Gallery- Featured

  • latest Post

  • Most Read

Addmotor Electric Bike| Electric bike shop / electric bicycle shop Electric bike review| Electric trike| Fat tire electric bike| Best electric bike| Electric bicycle/E bike| Electric bikes for sale| Folding electric bike| Electric mountain bike| Electric tricycle Mid drive electric bike| Juiced Bikes Pedego Rad-Power

Tomtop| Online shop| Online Einkaufen

地產代理/物業投資| 租辦公室/租寫字樓| 地產新聞| 甲級寫字樓/頂手| Grade A Office| Commercial Building / Office building| Hong Kong Office Rental| Rent Office| Office for lease / office leasing| Office for sale| Office relocation

DecorCollection European design furniture| sofa hk| sofas| beds| coffee tables| dining tables| dining chairs| sideboards| furniture hk| Cattelan Italia| Koinor

International schools hong kong| Wycombe Abbey| private school hong kong| English primary school Hong Kong| primary education| boarding school Hong Kong| Wycombe Abbey School

邮件营销| 電郵推廣| 邮件群发软件| Email Marketing| 搜尋引擎優化 SEO

QR code scanner| inventory management system| labelling| Kiosk| warehouse management|