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Pakistani Christian Grandpa Arrested, Beaten After Trumped-Up Blasphemy Allegations

A 70-year-old Christian grandpa in Pakistan was arrested and beaten by police in an attempt to extract a confession after he was accused of writing letters that were deemed insulting to Islam. Now he could face years in prison or possibly death.

The London-based charity British Pakistani Christian Association has reported that Mukhtar Masih and his family were taken into custody in the village of Lambanwali in the Punjab province on Jan. 28 after police stormed his home around 10 p.m. and informed him that a blasphemy case had been lodged against him.

According to the accusation of local Muslim residents filed at the Rahwali police station, Masih allegedly wrote blasphemous messages with derogatory comments toward the Muslim prophet Muhammad and the Quran.

The BPCA reports that Masih was accused of pinning the notes on Gulzar Mosque. Qadri Shahbaz, the imam of the mosque, claims to have found the note on Jan. 26 and two other local Christians were initially accused of writing the notes. But having been pressured, the two Christian reportedly incriminated Mukhtar and claimed he was the man who penned the note.

Along with Shahbaz, the case was filed by other local Muslim men.

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