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Pakistan court sets blasphemy convict free

A Court In Rawalpindi Last Week Absolved Him Of Charges And Ordered He Be Set Free, Ishaq’s Lawyer Mehmood Akhtar Said. “It Was Proved In The Court That The Charges Were False. We Are Completing Paperwork To Get Him Out Of Jail,' Akhtar Said.

PTI | Updated on: 01 Mar 2017, 12:42:06 PM
Pakistan court sets blasphemy convict free

Islamabad:

In a rare judgement, a court in Pakistan has acquitted a man sentenced to death four years ago for allegedly committing blasphemy. Muhammad Ishaq, caretaker of a shrine in eastern province of Punjab, was arrested and sentenced to death in 2013 after a complainant accused that he claimed himself to be a God.

A court in Rawalpindi last week absolved him of charges and ordered he be set free, Ishaq’s lawyer Mehmood Akhtar said. “It was proved in the court that the charges were false. We are completing paperwork to get him out of jail,” Akhtar said.

The draconian blasphemy laws were introduced in Pakistan by former military ruler Ziaul Haq in the 80s and anyone charged under the laws become an easy target for extremists.

The laws have been misused by miscreants and efforts to reform them have failed due to opposition by religious groups.
Former Punjab governor Salman Taseer was killed by a police guard in 2011 when he termed the laws “black laws” and demanded reforms. 

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First Published : 01 Mar 2017, 12:37:00 PM

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