Even in a squalid prison cell on death row, the 14-year-old Christian boy sentenced to hang for insulting Islam isn't safe, his defense attorney said Sunday.

"I am very, very apprehensive," the attorney, Hina Jilani, told The Associated Press in a telephone interview from Lahore."That's why we want to get this trial over as soon as possible. His safety is a real source of tension."Salamat Masih's appeal hearing resumes Monday in the Lahore High Court.

Salamat never leaves the cell he shares with his uncle, Rehmat Masih, 40, also sentenced to hang for allegedly writing anti-Islamic graffiti on a mosque wall in 1993. Salamat's other cellmate is a convicted murderer.

A filthy hole in a corner of the cell is the bathroom, said Bishop Samuel Azariah, of the multi-denominational Church of Pakistan, following a visit with Salamat on Sunday.

"The conditions are really bad," he said. "The food is bad. It smells and it's not very hygienic."

A third person accused in the case, Manzoor Masih, was shot and killed outside a Lahore court last April as he waited for his police protection to arrive.

Just a year ago in the same cell bloc where Salamat has been spending his days since his conviction nearly a week ago, another inmate accused of blasphemy was killed, said Jilani. No one was ever arrested.

Human rights organizations, including Amnesty International, have sharply criticized Pakistan's blasphemy laws introduced in the 1980s by military dictator Gen. Mohammed Zia-ul Haq.

There are about 2 million Christians in Pakistan. Most of the country's 130 million people are Sunni Muslims.

Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto has expressed shock at the death sentence, but said she won't intervene.

Watched closely by militant Muslims, the case has underlined the apparent weakness of Bhutto's government to deal with Pakistan's small, but vocal extremists.