Released prisoner is still in danger

Released prisoner is still in danger

Released prisoner is still in danger

Though a Pakistani Christian is no longer in prison, an organization concerned with the human rights of Christians and religious minorities says he still faces potential harm.

Nadeem Samson has been in prison since his Muslim neighbor accused him of blasphemy during a property dispute four years ago. In an unusual move, the Pakistan Supreme Court recently granted Samson's release on bail.

"That definitely is a very positive update on his particular case," comments Will Stark of International Christian Concern (ICC). "However, the case isn't fully resolved yet; there still is a blasphemy accusation against Nadeem. In addition to that, Nadeem's attorney, Saif-ul-Malook, is concerned for the safety of Nadeem as the case kind of remains pending."

Extreme elements of the Muslim faith have compelled its followers to resort to violence against people accused of blasphemy. Even so, Stark does not consider the court's action to be a death sentence for the 46-year-old man.

"I don't think the courts are doing this to release Nadeem Sampson to the mob of vigilantes, because honestly, if they wanted to fulfill a death sentence, they probably would have just let it happen and actually reap the political rewards instead of reaping the political consequences of letting somebody out," Stark submits.

Still, as long as Samson's case is pending, ICC believes his life is in danger. And even if he is found innocent of the charge, he would have to leave the country to be truly safe.