Man on trial for blasphemy shot dead in court in Pakistan

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Peshawar High Court. The Muslim Times has the best collection to refute blasphemy laws and promote interfaith tolerance

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.

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2 replies

  1. An elderly man was killed during the hearing of a blasphemy case against him at the Peshawar Judicial Complex on Wednesday, police told Dawn.

    A lawyer, who was present in the courtroom when the incident happened, said that a case had been registered against the deceased under blasphemy laws. The accused was brought to court from Peshawar Central Jail.

    “During the hearing of the case, the complainant said that the accused was an Ahmadi and asked him to recite the Kalima-e-Tayyaba,” she said, adding that the complainant then fired at the elderly man and killed him.

    The judicial complex is situated in a high-security zone on the main Khyber Road in the cantonment area where the provincial assembly building, the Peshawar High Court, chief minister’s secretariat and Governor House are also situated. Security at the main gate and inside the judicial complex is also high.

    https://www.dawn.com/news/1571793/blasphemy-accused-gunned-down-inside-courtroom-at-peshawar-judicial-complex

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