A court on Thursday sentenced a Christian man to death for blasphemy, his lawyer said. The verdict came almost a year after riots in Joseph Colony of Lahore saw 100 Christian houses being burnt in an orgy of violence.
At the heart of the controversy that triggered the riots was Sawan Masih, who was convicted of committing blasphemy during the course of a conversation with a Muslim friend in March last year.
After allegations against Masih emerged, more than 3,000 people had rampaged through Joseph Colony, torching and looting some 100 Christian homes.
Naeem Shakir, one of Masih’s lawyers, told the media that “the judge has announced the death sentence for Sawan Masih.”
“We will appeal the sentence in the Lahore High Court.”
The verdict and sentence were announced inside the jail where Masih was held, Shakir said.
Masih has maintained his innocence and argued that the real reason for the blasphemy allegation was a property dispute between him and his friend.