Blasphemy law use on rise, led by Pakistan: US group

Dawn: WASHINGTON: Governments around the world are increasingly invoking blasphemy laws, with Pakistan by far the country that jails the most citizens for allegedly attacking religion, a US report said Thursday.

The US Commission on International Religious Freedom, a government advisory panel, voiced fear that the rise in laws banning blasphemy was leading to punishment of people who merely express different religious views or who have been falsely accused.

The report found Pakistan used its controversial law at a level “incomparable” to anywhere else, listing 14 people on death row and 19 others serving life sentences for alleged blasphemy against Islam.

Pakistan has never carried out the death penalty for blasphemy, but the report charged that the law, and the lack of procedural safeguards, has contributed to an alarming number of mob attacks and vigilante violence against minorities.

Egypt has seen a rise in use of such laws since the 2011 overthrow of president Hosni Mubarak, the report said.

Citing local activists, the report found blasphemy cases involved 63 people in 2011 and 2012 and disproportionately targeted the Christian minority.

More: 

Categories: Asia

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.