The Center for Legal Aid Assistance and Settlement, which fights for the rights of the poor and marginalized in Pakistan, said the incident dated back to late 2008 when the accusations unleashed the fury of Islamic extremists. Local stories then suggested that police were paid to discover additional evidence that would be used to convict the couple.
Munir Masih was locked up in Kasur's district prison, and his wife went to the women's prison in Multan upon conviction.
Currently their convictions are being appealed to the Lahore High Court, officials said.
Christians in Pakistan say Islamic laws regarding the Quran and blasphemy routinely are used to harass members of other faiths. Tahir Naveed Chaudhary, aChristian member of Punjab's legislative assembly, reported such accusations are used to settle personal grudges against Christians.
If I say that as a Christian, I don't believe
The European Center for Law and Justice is urging the U.N. to call on Pakistan to prosecute the perpetrators of attacks that have killed at least 60 Christians in recent years.