Pakistan High Court Acquits Two Men Sentenced to Death for Burning Alive Christian Couple, But Upholds Sentences of Three Others

Two men sentenced to death for burning alive Pakistani Christian Shehzad Masih and his pregnant wife Shama were cleared on 16 May of involvement in the killings.

The High Court in Lahore acquitted Muhammad Hanif and Hafiz Ishtiaq of charges relating to the brutal murder in Kot Radha Kishan, Punjab in 2014.

Three other men convicted with them in November 2016 had their appeals rejected and their death sentences upheld.

The couple, both brick-kiln workers who had three children, were burned alive in a brick-kiln by a mob of up to 1,000 Muslims after being falsely accused of destroying pages of the Quran.

It emerged after the attack that the documents the couple were seen burning belonged to Shehzad’s father, who had recently died. The brutal murder caused outrage across the country and led other Christian families in the Punjab to flee their homes.