Blasphemy charge city OAP shot in Pakistan jail

Blasphemy laws in Pakistan are strict. Picture: Getty

Blasphemy laws in Pakistan are strict. Picture: Getty

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A mentally ill Edinburgh pensioner jailed under Pakistan’s blasphemy laws has been shot and wounded in prison, apparently by a policeman.

Mohammad Asghar, 70, was sentenced to death in January following a trial.

The charity Reprieve said he is in a critical condition in hospital.

Mr Asghar was arrested in 2010 in Rawalpindi, near the capital Islamabad, for claiming to be the Prophet Mohammed in letters sent to various officials, according to prosecutor Javed Gul.

However, a lawyer who defended Mr Asghar said he suffers from mental illness and the case was really a property dispute.

An appeal was lodged with Lahore High Court in February this year, Reprieve said.

The gun attack is thought to have happened at about 8.30am local time today at a prison in Rawalpindi.

It appears the pensioner was shot by a policeman or prison guard.

A Foreign Office spokesman said: “We can confirm that a British national has been injured in prison in Pakistan. We are providing consular assistance.”

The blasphemy complaint was brought against Mr Asghar by a tenant with whom he was having a dispute.

His family have appealed to the UK Government to do everything it can to make sure he is safe.