In 1995, Justice Arif Iqbal Bhatti, along with other judges of a Lahore High Court bench, struck down allegations of blasphemy against two Christians. In 1997 the judge was shot dead in his office. The next year a man owned up to the crime, but has apparently disappeared from custody since then.
Since the creation of Pakistan's blasphemy laws, at least 38 cases of extrajudicial killings (some of which involved the active involvement or wilful neglect of the police) of people alleged to have directly committed blasphemy have been documented. Arif Bhatti’s was a relatively unusual case at the time. More recently, though, two uniquely courageous Pakistanis lost their lives for defending victims of Pakistan’s blasphemy laws.