Into the pit

A 70-year-old man has been convicted of blasphemy and sentenced to death in Rawalpindi.

Muhammad Asghar was arrested in 2010 after writing letters to various people claiming to be a prophet, reports say.

His lawyers argued for leniency, saying he has a history of mental illness, but this was rejected by a medical panel.

Disgusting in every way. So what if someone wrote a bunch of letters claiming to be a prophet? What a harmless inconsequential who could possibly care action. Giving him a ticket comparable to a parking ticket would be a ludicrous abuse of state power; sentencing him to death is just off the charts. Ignoring his mental illness for the sake of sentencing him to death is another step down into the pit of sadistic shitness.

Mr Asghar, who is from Edinburgh, Scotland, was accused of writing letters to police officers claiming to be a prophet. He is thought to have lived in Pakistan for several years.

“Asghar claimed to be a prophet even inside the court. He confessed it in front of the judge,” Javed Gul, a government prosecutor, told the Agence France-Presse news agency.

So what, you fucking fool. It doesn’t matter. He could claim to be Tinker Bell or Sasquatch or Elmer Fudd’s third wife; it wouldn’t matter. Pakistan has enough real crimes to pursue without squandering its time on the persecution of a religious fantasist.

But his lawyer told the BBC’s Saba Eitizaz that she was forcibly removed from the case by the judge and that proceedings were carried out behind closed doors.

His lawyer says she will launch an appeal against the verdict, which was delivered late on Thursday. Higher courts in Pakistan have been known to overturn blasphemy verdicts handed down in lower courts because of insufficient evidence.

Mr Asgharn has been diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic and had treatment at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Edinburgh, but the court did not accept his medical reports from the UK, reports say.

He has been in jail since his arrest in 2010 and his lawyer says he has also tried to take his own life in jail on one occasion.

Oh it’s just too foul to contemplate.