Through a letter, widely circulating in social media, the parents of Junaid Hafeez have implored the Chief Justice of Pakistan, Mr. Justice Asif Saeed Khosa to give justice to their son, who remains in prison for six years on false allegations of blasphemy.
They accused the prosecution of employing delaying tactics in the case, which, coupled with the sensitivity of the case and lack of a defense lawyer have led to their son’s unending misery.
Rubina Hafeez and Muhammad Hafeezul Naseer, parents of the accused Junaid beseeched the CJP to have mercy on them as their son continued to languish in solitary confinement and a constant state of fear for his life.
“He now suffers mental stress,” they said in the letter, “we couldn’t stop our tears when we saw him the other day,” they wrote.
Junaid Hafeez, a resident of Rajanpur, Punjab, was a lecturer in English Literature at Bahauddin Zakariya University in Multan, which he had joined after pursuing a Fullbright Scholarship in the US. He was accused of committing blasphemy in 2013 and remains under trial ever since.
He was accused by members of a religious student organization of making blasphemous comments during a lecture besides sharing blasphemous content on a Facebook account, which is yet to be linked to him.
His parents’ letter was widely shared on social media with calls for his immediate release.
#JunaidHafeez’s family appeals to the CJ Khosa to take notice of their son’s case & stop the delaying tactics of the prosecution. Junaid has already spent over 6 years in prison on trumped up charges. Final arguments will be heard this Saturday. #freejunaidhafeez pic.twitter.com/5rJPeYPMpu
— Nida Kirmani (@nidkirm) November 26, 2019
Twitter users hoped Junaid will get justice.
The torcher #JunaidHafeez is facing is traumatizing and unbearable, but the pain his parents describe through this letter is beyond words. I hope and pray that one day they will be given justice. #freejunaidhafeez https://t.co/dshZHoxARA
— Sadia ahmad (@SadiaTheSadia) November 26, 2019
The ongoing Student Solidarity March also called for release of Junaid Hafeez.
— meena gabeena (@gabeeno) November 29, 2019
Human Rights Commision of Pakistan (HRCP) also weighed in
Junaid Hafeez’s parents appeal to CJ for justice https://t.co/6CjTziwfsW
— Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (@HRCP87) November 29, 2019
More calls for his release
— Khadim Hussain (@Khadimhussain4) November 29, 2019
Top English daily Dawn also took up Junaid Hafeez’s case. In its editorial the newspaper called for taking all legal cases to their logical conclusion without undue delay.
“The resolve of the judiciary, the ‘equal before the law’ stance of the prime minister and the willingness of the public at large to get to the bottom of pending cases in accordance with the law create room for all to assert their basic right to justice and a fair trial.” – Dawn
According to Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, at least 40 people still face death row or serving life sentences on blasphemy cases in Pakistan.