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Shafqat and Shagufta, a married couple in Pakistan, have been sentenced to death for sending ‘blasphemous texts’. Shafqat’s lower body is paralysed and he has painful bedsores. He needs help urgently.

The couple were convicted of “blasphemy” and sentenced to death in 2014 for allegedly sending “blasphemous” text messages to a mosque cleric. The messages were sent from a phone containing a sim registered in Shagufta’s name. They believe her identity card was deliberately misused.

Despite denying all allegations, Shafqat and Shagufta have been locked up in prison for eight long years waiting for their appeal hearing. 

Shafqat’s health has been deteriorating rapidly. His lower body is paralysed and he has multiple large bedsores, which his lawyer says aren’t being treated properly. His family says he went into a coma for three days in March but wasn’t transferred to the jail hospital. 

Shafqat and Shagufta shouldn’t be in jail at all, let alone at risk of execution. 

You can help save their lives by putting pressure on the Pakistani authorities to release the couple immediately and get Shafqat the urgent health care that he needs.

 

 

 

Sign the Petition

  Our Petition
 
 
Inspector General, Punjab Mirza Shahid Saleem Baig
Inspectorate General of Prisons, Punjab
Link Jail Road, Shadman
Lahore, Pakistan 

 

Dear Inspector General Mirza Shahid Saleem Baig,

I write to you out of alarm for the sharp decline in the health of death row prisoner Shafqat Emmanuel. Shafqat is completely paralyzed from the waist down and must rely on prison guards to perform the most basic tasks like leaving his bed and using the bathroom. Furthermore, as per the application submitted by his lawyer to the Inspector General of Prisons in Punjab, he has painful bedsores and needs urgent health care. 

Currently held in Central Jail, Faisalabad I find it alarming that in March, according to his family, Shafqat was in a coma for three days and yet was still not provided adequate medical care. 

Shafqat and his wife Shagufta Kausar, were convicted of “blasphemy” and sentenced to death in 2014 for allegedly sending “blasphemous” text messages to a mosque cleric. 
The couple should not be in jail at all, let alone at risk of execution. Pakistan’s blasphemy laws do not meet human rights law and standards, they lack essential safeguards to minimize the risk of rights violations and illustrate the dangers faced by the country’s religious minorities. 

I find it highly distressing that a prisoner who needs urgent health care is not being shifted to the jail hospital. He should not be detained in the first place, and if he is not going to be released, prison authorities must ensure the provision of adequate health care whether it is available inside or outside the prison.

Therefore, I strongly urge you to grant Shafqat prompt, regular and unrestricted access to adequate health care as necessary. In addition to that, he and his wife Shagufta should be immediately and unconditionally released. I call for the couple and their lawyer to be provided with adequate security upon their release. 

Yours sincerely,