Two Christian brothers from Lahore have been sentenced to death for blasphemy in Pakistan.
Qaiser and Amoon Ayub were sentenced by a district judge after being convicted of insulting the Prophet Mohammed in contents posted on their website.
“The prosecution has proved its case against both the accused beyond shadow of reasonable doubt,” Judge Javed Iqbl Bosal concluded in a 28-page ruling.
The brothers had left Pakistan when they were first accused of blasphemy in 2011. However, they eventually returned. They were arrested while trying to leave the country a second time and they have been in Jhelum prison since 2014.
Qaiser, 44, and Amoon, 38, can appeal the sentencing.
Tahir Bashir, counsel for the men, said they men were arrested for allegedly uploading blasphemous content on the United Christians Organisation of Pakistan website in August 2010. According to Bashir, the men were not operating the website when a complaint was filed against them.
This conviction comes just weeks after a Christian farmhand named Asia Bibi was acquitted of a similar crime.
Bibi was accused of insulting the prophet in a quarrel with co-workers and her arrest had caused international outcry. Bibi spent eight years on death row until she was acquitted by the supreme court in October.
Since her acquittal, Bibi and her family have been living in fear for their lives as Islamic fundamentalists all over Pakistan are against the court’s decision.
According to a Telegraph report, at least 62 people have been murdered by vigilantes as a result of blasphemy allegations since 1990. Since 2011 about 100 blasphemy cases have been registered and around 40 people are awaiting the death sentence or serving life sentences.