The United States on Thursday called for the immediate reformation of Pakistan’s blasphemy laws after an American citizen was killed over alleged blasphemy.
“We are shocked, saddened, and outraged that American citizen Tahir Naseem was killed yesterday inside a Pakistani courtroom. Mr. Naseem had been lured to Pakistan from his home in Illinois by individuals who then used Pakistan’s blasphemy laws to entrap him,” a U.S. State Department spokesman said.
“We grieve with the family of Mr. Naseem. We urge Pakistan to immediately reform its often abused blasphemy laws and its court system, which allow such abuses to occur, and to ensure that the suspect is prosecuted to the full extent of the law.” State Department spokesman Cale Brown said in a statement.
“The U.S. Government has been providing consular assistance to Mr. Naseem and his family since his detention in 2018 and has called the attention of senior Pakistani officials to his case to prevent the type of shameful tragedy that eventually occurred,” Brown said.
The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom also expressed outrage at the Killing of Tahir Naseem. USCIRF Commissioner Johnnie Moore in a statement said:
Pakistan’s blasphemy laws are indefensible to begin with but it is outrageous beyond belief that the Pakistani government was incapable of keeping an individual from being murdered within a court of law for his faith, and a U.S. citizen, nonetheless.
He further added that “Pakistan must protect religious minorities, including individuals accused of blasphemy, in order to prevent such unimaginable tragedies. The authorities must take immediate action to bring Mr. Nassem’s killer to justice.”