A Pakistani district judge sentenced Zafar Bhatti, Pakistan’s longest-serving blasphemy convict, to death on Monday, the British Asian Christian Association reported Tuesday.
Bhatti was already serving a life-long prison sentence on January 3 when Pakistani District Court Judge Sahibzada Naqeeb Shehzad increased the Christian man’s penalty for blasphemy against Islam to capital punishment.
Bhatti, 56, has been incarcerated in the Adiala Central Jail of Rawalpindi, Pakistan, since July 2012 when police charged him with sending text messages deemed blasphemous against Islam, the official state religion of Pakistan.
Bhatti’s wife, Nawab, told the British Pakistani Christians Association (BCPA) in May 2017 her husband had allegedly suffered “numerous attempts” on his life while in prison. False reports circulated in September 2014 alleging Bhatti was shot to death inside