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Published On: Mon, Dec 16th, 2013

Pakistani Christian Adnan Masih Prince faces life in prison or death penalty for blasphemy after writing in a book

A Christian held in a Pakistani prison has detailed his case to World Watch Monitor, explaining the events surrounding his arrest and current detention.

Adnan Prince, aka Adnan Masih, is in jail, convicted of blasphemy after a colleague accused him of insulting Islam, the Quran and the Prophet Muhammad.

Prince was filling in for his brother at the Diamond Glass shop in Lahore.

During his shift, Prince, who holds a master’s degree in English literature, says he found a copy of a controversial bookI asked the Bible why the Qurans were set on fire (Urdu: Mein ney Bible sey poocha Quran kyun jaley), and started to read it and to make notes inside it.

The book was written by Maulana Ameer Hamza, the leader of Jamat-ud-Dawa, a political arm of the jihadi organization Lashkar-e-Taiba, which claimed responsibility for the Mumbai bombings. 

While Prince was reading the book, a Muslim colleague of his, Abid Mehmood, spotted him and took offense.

The next day, Mehmood went to the local police station and alleged that Prince had “marked several pages … with abusive words against the Prophet of Islam.”

Hearing that he had been accused, Prince fled. However, he claims that he did nothing wrong.

“I found the book quite erroneous, giving incorrect information about Christianity,” he said. “So I wrote comments with biblical references in several places, but no abusive language was used.”

Most of his family was arrested which flushed him out of hiding. At the police station he was tortured by police.

“The police were on the verge of killing me after I surrendered to them, but God kept me safe by His grace,” he said. “When I came to my senses [after one round of torture], I was told that a heavy machine would be rolled over my thighs, which would not only be painful but would render me permanently impotent. Then the deputy superintendent of police pushed the barrel of a pistol into my mouth and told me to confess that I had written abusive words in the book. He said he would count to three and that if I didn’t confess, he would pull the trigger.”

Prince added that on one occasion he was taken outside and told that he was free to go.

“But I knew they were lying and would shoot me from behind if I left,” he said. “I told them that if you want to shoot me, then shoot me in the chest and not in the back. They stopped torturing me when they felt they would not be able to shake my resolve.”

Prince’s lawyer Aneeqa Maria, director of The Voice Society, told World Watch Monitor that the police were legally bound to present him before a court within 24 hours after his first arrest, but that they did not do so for fear of starting a riot.

Similar cases have been known to take as long as seven years to reach trial. Perhaps the most famous on-going blasphemy charge case is that of Aasiya Noreen (also known as Asia Bibi), who was sentenced to death for insulting Islam in 2009 and still remains in jail, awaiting her appeal. 

 Adnan Prince Masih

 

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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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