A cleric was among five people who were handed down death penalty by an anti-terrorism court in Pakistan for burning alive a Christian couple after accusing them of committing blasphemy in Lahore in 2014.
Lahore anti-terrorism court Judge Chaudhry Muhammad Azam delivered the verdict after the prosecution presented all witnesses.
He gave death sentence to five suspects including a cleric and also imposed a fine of Rs 200,000 on each for lynching the couple. Eight other suspects were sentenced to two years in prison.
According to the chargesheet, the suspects gathered a mob by making announcements from mosques that a young Christian couple—Shahzad and Shama—committed blasphemy in Kot Radha Kishan area of Kasur district, some 50km from Lahore, in November 2014.
Around 600 Muslims, led by area clerics, reached the brick kiln were the couple worked as labourers and dragged them out of the room after breaking into it.
They first tortured them and then threw them in the furnace in the kiln. No one from the crowd listened to the couple who were pleading that they were innocent.
The couple had three children and Shama was pregnant.