"At the end of the proceedings, around 200 religious activists gathered near the main entrance to the courts accompanied by groups of lawyers affiliated with various extremist parties. Some local lawyers told us that we were at risk of being attacked."
Haroon Shahzad, a Pakistani Christian, had shared on his Facebook account bible verses about meat sacrificed to idols, when Muslims were going to celebrate Eid el-Kebir, the feast of sacrifice. Accused of blasphemy, he had been placed in "preventive detention".
On July 11, his bail hearing was to be held. His lawyer, Aneeqa Maria, went there, but the police, according to Morning Star News, prevented the Christian from appearing there.
“The police refused to give justice to Shahzad to appease the religious parties”, explains the lawyer, “they knew that he would be released on merit bail, that is why they deliberately prevented him from appearing before the judge ".
Aneeqa Maria adds that "Muslim extremists started shouting inflammatory slogans in the courtroom". It was in this atmosphere that the lawyer began to plead. But an investigator "told the court he was not in custody and denied knowing where he was."
A statement refuted by Haroon Shahzad's lawyer, who explains that his "requests were ignored and the judge, apparently under pressure from the crowd, rejected our request to grant permanent bail to Shahzad since he had no did not appear in court".
At the end of the proceedings, Aneeqa Maria had to remain in the bar room, awaiting the departure of "about 200 religious activists gathered near the main entrance of the courts accompanied by groups of lawyers affiliated with various extremist parties ".
"Some local lawyers told us that we risked being attacked," she testified. "We hoped that he would be released on bail, but the events that unfolded dashed our hopes," said Irfan Shahzad, Haroon's brother.