Younus, the brother-in-law of a Pakistani Christian woman Asia Bibi, has been murdered in Sheikhupura city of Punjab province in Pakistan on Monday. Asia Bibi is a victim of Blasphemy laws in Pakistan and she was convicted for blasphemy by a Pakistani court.
According to the reports, Younus was killed in Sheikhupura city of Punjab province in Pakistan on Monday. He was murdered with his throat slit, whose body was found in his farm on Monday morning. He had gone to his farm on May 24 and did not return home at night.
It is being alleged that the murder of Younus is related to hate crimes against minorities in Pakistan. Reportedly, he was killed in a rivalry as he hailed from the minority Christian community.
Younas Masih, 50, the father of two was married to Najma Bibi, the younger sister of Asia Bibi. The victim’s brother George Masih filed an FIR with the police, where he has accused Najma Bibi of conspiring to kill her husband with the help of Irfan Dogar, a local Muslim. Punjab police operations DIG Sohail Akhtar Sukhera told the Dawn newspaper that Sheikhupura police have arrested Najma Bibi and Irfan Dogar. He said they had confessed to the crime and the victim’s body had been sent to a morgue for an autopsy. Quoting the accused who ‘confessed’ to committing the crime, he said they killed Younus on Eid day at around 3 pm and dumped his body in the drain in a bid to conceal their crime.
In 2010, Pakistani Christian woman Aasiya Noreen, famously known as Asia Bibi, was convicted of blasphemy by a Pakistani court and was sentenced to death by hanging. In October 2018, the Supreme Court of Pakistan acquitted her based on insufficient evidence after spending eight years in jail. Asia Bibi is now living in exile in Canada.
The blasphemy laws in Pakistan are very stringent and carries a potential death sentence for anyone who is accused of insulting Islam. According to critics, the law exists to harass and persecute minorities.
Salman Taseer, the influential governor of Punjab was assassinated in 2011 for appealing to pardon Asia Bibi, who had been sentenced to death for allegedly insulting Prophet Muhammad. Similarly, a month after Taseer was killed, Religious Minorities Minister Shahbaz Bhatti, a Christian who spoke out against such harsh laws, was shot dead in Islamabad.