Blasphemy charges: Pakistani court sentences Christian man to death
Lahore: A Court in Pakistan's Lahore city on Tuesday sentenced a Christian man to death for having committed "blasphemy", media reports said.
This is the latest case of strict religious laws being applied against minorities in the South Asian country.
Asif Pervaiz, 37, has been in custody since 2013 when he was accused of having sent "blasphemous" text messages to a former supervisor at work, lawyer Saif-ul-Malook told Al Jazeera.
The court rejected his testimony wherein he denied the charges and sentenced him to death on Tuesday, reported the news channel.
"The complainant was a supervisor in a hosiery factory where Asif was working under him," said Malook.
"He denied the allegations and said that this man was trying to get him to convert to Islam," he said.
Speaking in his own defence in court earlier in the trial, Pervaiz claimed the supervisor confronted him after he quit work at the factory, and when he refused to convert he was accused of having sent blasphemous text messages to the man, reports Al Jazeera.
Muhammad Saeed Khokher, the complainant in the case, denies wanting to convert Parvaiz, according to his lawyer, Ghulam Mustafa Chaudhry, reports the news channel.
"He has taken this defence after the fact, because he had no other clear defence," Chaudhry told Al Jazeera. "That's why he accused him of trying to convert him."
Chaudhry said there were other Christian employees at the factory, but none have accused Khokher of proselytising.
Reacting to the judgement, Voice of Pakistan Minority tweeted: " Asif Pervaiz, a #Christian man who was in prison since 2013 for Blasphemy has been sentenced to death by the trial court at Lahore today, although there was no such evidence presented to prove that he committed Blasphemy. #EndBlasphemyAgainstMinorities."