Concerning Mr. K.S.M and Mr. T.M vs Denmark for violation of Articles 6 and/or 7, 13, 2 and 26 of CCPR.
The authors are a Christian minority in Pakistan. In the recent Global peace index, Pakistan was amongst the 10 most unpeaceful nations in the world together with countries like Syria, Afghanistan and North Korea. In Denmark (ranking the Second most peaceful country in the world) the authorities have difficulties understanding the situation in Pakistan, especially for religious minorities.
Mr. K.S.M was a successful businessman, who was the owner (with Mr. T.M) of a video rental store in a primarily Christian area in Islamabad. One evening of October 6, 2012 however, a mob of between 12 to 15 Islamists entered the shop and attacked Mr. K.S.M. They also performed vandalism and threatened Mr. K.S.M, because they accused him of renting out films insulting Islam. He managed to run away and get back to his family at home. He called the other owner of the shop – Mr. T.M – and they decided to go underground right away by seeking refuge at the house of a friend Mr. K. This decision was also made after they were informed by phone that the Islamists had set the shop on fire. The author’s friend, Mr. K, called the authorities and was informed that the author and Mr. T.M. were accused of violation of the Criminal code section 295 (blasphemy) under Pakistani law. After several unsuccessful attempts to get in contact with the Minister, they decided to flee Pakistan.
The Immigration Service rejected the author’s application for asylum. The Refugee Board upheld that decision on 2 September 2014 because they did not find the author’s explanation authentic. It is argued that the authors suffered from a violation of his right to a fair trial according to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights Article 13. The author is not allowed to appeal the decision of the Refugee Board in order to ask a Danish Court to overrule the decision. This is also a violation of his right to fair trial, in connection to a violation of CCPR Article 6 and/or 7 as the authors risk death sentence. The authors also fear retaliation from the Islamists since there are lots of reports about Christians accused of blasphemy, who are being killed by mobs in front of the Courthouse, die in detention, or are being subject to torture or inhumane treatment. Consequently, the authors argue that on return, he risks treatment by Islamists that would be in violation with Covenant Article 6 and/or 7.
23. March 2020