Blasphemy charges create climate of fear for Pakistani media

Source: Associated Press

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FILE – In this file photo taken on Thursday, Jan. 12, 2017, civil society activists rally to demand… Read more

ISLAMABAD (AP) — Ahmad Waqas Goraya couldn’t see anything through the black hood, but he could hear the screams.

A blogger with a penchant for criticizing Pakistan’s powerful military and taking the government to task, Goraya was kidnapped in January along with four other bloggers.

“I could hear the screams of torture,” he said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press, struggling for words as the memories flooded back. “I don’t even want to think about what they did.”

Even more terrifying was the accusation of blasphemy __ punishable by death in Pakistan __ hurled at him and his fellow bloggers. They were held in what Goraya called a “black site” on the edge of Lahore that some say is run by Pakistan’s powerful intelligence agency.

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