Source: The Guardian
A Pakistani man on trial for blasphemy has been shot dead in a courtroom, in the latest violent incident connected with the country’s blasphemy laws.
Tahir Ahmed Naseem had been in prison since his arrest in 2018, allegedly after claiming he was a prophet. He is a member of the Ahmedi sect, which is persecuted in Pakistan where they have officially been declared non-Muslims.
The shooting took place at a high-security complex next to the Peshawar high court.
“I was sitting on my seat in the office around 11.30 when I heard the firing,” said Saeed Zaher, a lawyer, who rushed to the site of the attack, and said the victim appeared to have been shot once in the head. “The killer was caught by the police and the body was lying on a bench within the courtroom.”
Blasphemy is an enormously sensitive charge in Pakistan, a criminal offence that can carry the death penalty, yet which is sometimes used to settle personal scores, and has become extremely difficult for the justice system to handle.
— TheMuslimTimes (@TheMuslimTimes2) July 17, 2017