A majority of the House wants Minister Bloc of Foreign Affairs to take action for the Christian Pakistani couple Shafqat Emanuel and Shagufta Kausar. The two have been on death row since 2014, because they would have offended the prophet Muhammad.
One of thems phones sent blasphemy texts, but according to their lawyer, they never made it clear who did that. He is convinced that the couple has become victims of abuse of blasphemy laws in the Islamic country. This would happen more often, especially against the Christian minority.
The appeal in their lawsuit has been postponed several times, but is now scheduled for February 15. ChristenUnie, CDA, SGP, GroenLinks, PvdA, D66 and SP want Blok, preferably together with its European colleagues, to urge the Pakistani authorities to release the two and make efforts to bring them to safety. Thats what the MPs write in questions to the Minister.
Death threats for lawyer
They also want him to do everything he can to get the blasphemy laws in Pakistan adjusted so that they can no longer be abused. The couples lawyer should be able to obtain asylum in the Netherlands if he receives death threats.
This happened to him before, defending the equally Christian Asia Bibi. She, too, was convicted of blasphemy, but was finally acquitted and was able to emigrate to Canada.
Lawyer Saif Ul Malook fled to the Netherlands at the time of the trial because of the death threats he received. Later he went back to Pakistan.
The ChristianUnion, together with the foundation Help Persecuted Christienen, has started a petition under the title Speak them free. The petition should be presented next Friday to the Pakistani ambassador in our country. They also called on all churches in the Netherlands to pray for Shafqat and Shagufta next Sunday.