World

Pak Prosecutor offers amnesty if murder accused convert to Islam

30 Mar 2017 | By NewsBytes Desk

A Public prosecutor in Lahore was caught on camera offering 42 Christians, who are accused of murder, amnesty if they convert to Islam.

The trial is being conducted in an anti-terrorism court. The accused's legal representative said Deputy District Public Prosecutor Syed Anees Shah made the offer.

The case was regarding the murder of 2 Muslims in mob violence in 2015.

In context: Lahore High Court's controversial statement

CaseWhat had happened?

In March 2015, two bombs went off in the Roman Catholic Church and Christ Church during Sunday service at Youhanabad town of Lahore, Pakistan.

Youhanabad is a Christian dominated town. Following the blasts, mobs took to the streets in protest.

They assaulted 2 Muslim men, who they believed were responsible for the bombings and lynched them.

42 people were held after the incident.

30 Mar 2017Pak Prosecutor offers amnesty if murder accused convert to Islam

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Reactions to the statement

ReactionsReactions to the statement

Joseph Franci, a rights activist who was legally assisting the accused said that the deputy public prosecutor said "he can guarantee them their acquittal in this case, if they embrace Islam."

Allegedly the same offer was made 6 months ago and was rejected by the accused.

One of them said he would rather be hanged than convert to Islam.

DPP rejects, then accepts charges

When contacted, Deputy District Public Prosecutor Syed Anees Shah rejected the allegations. However, when he was told that he was caught on tape making the offer, he said he may have "offered them a choice."