A young pastor named Adnan Prince was charged with blasphemy for allegedly writing derogatory remarks against the Prophet Muhammad PBUH, for desecration of Holy Quranand for disrespecting the religion of Islam.
Although the prosecution dropped charges under section 295-A and 295-B, Prince remains charged under 295-C, which carries the death penalty.
Yet his lawyer, Asma Jahangir argued that not only were there were no eyewitnesses to his alleged crime, but that none of the forensic evidence linked Pastor Adnan to blasphemy. Furthermore, irregularities in police conduct when collecting the evidence called into question the legitimacy of the charges themselves.
After three years and three months in prison and multiple court hearings in which he was denied bail, Prince was finally granted bail in a Supreme Court hearing at the beginning of February, against two surety bonds of 300,000 PKR per bond.
Pastor Adnan is an orphan and belongs to a very poor Christian family. His father died some time ago and after the arrest of Pastor Adnan his mother became extremely stressed by the blasphemy allegations leveled against her son. She died last year.
Pastor Adnan’s brother Irfan Prince hid his mother’s sudden death from Pastor Adnan, since it would be difficult for him to tackle with whole the situation. Instead he just informed Pastor Adnan that his mother is in coma.
Pastor Adnan’s plight is being publicized by M Aman Ullah, who since 2012 has worked diligently for a woman named ‘Walaiha’ (whom he later married) in another blasphemy case.
It was Aman who secured the services of Advocate Nadeem Anthony as defense counsel pro bono. Anthony is also working on Walaiha’s case and other blasphemy cases as an activist.
Aman told Clarion Project that Irfan and Adnan Prince are being threatened severely and are in danger. They are attempting to raise the money to post bail.