An Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) in Lahore, Pakistan, on Saturday (24 March) acquitted 20 men suspected of involvement in the murder of a Christian couple burnt alive at the kiln where they worked in November 2014 – after it was alleged that they had set fire to some pages from a Quran.
Previously, in April 2016, the ATC allowed the kiln’s owner, Yousuf Gujjar, to walk free. The same court in November 2016 sentenced five men to death and jailed another eight men for two years.
A mob of as many as 600 people beat to near-death Shahzad Masih, 26, and his five-months-pregnant wife Shama Bibi, 24, for their “blasphemous” act on 4 November 2014, in a village 60 kilometres from Lahore, the capital of Pakistan’s Punjab region. The couple were then thrown into the large kiln where they worked as bonded labourers.