Pakistan: Christian couple on death row for ‘blasphemy’
Shagufta Kausar and Shafqat Emmanuel face execution for allegedly sending ‘blasphemous’ texts to a mosque cleric, from a phone containing a sim registered in Shagufta’s name. The couple have consistently denied all allegations and believe Shagufta’s National Identity Card was purposely misused. Imprisoned since 2013, the couple were convicted and sentenced to death in April 2014. Their appeal was due to be heard in April 2020, six years after they were sentenced, but it was postponed due to the COVID-19 outbreak. At their last two hearings in 2021, the judges left the court as they were due to hear the appeal against their death sentences, citing court hours having concluded for the day.