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Persecution – Pakistan blasphemy law

January 2017

Blasphemy charges have been dropped against an eight-year-old Christian boy in Quetta, Pakistan.

According to a report for the Centre for Legal Aid, Assistance and Settlement (CLAAS), the youngster and his mother were both accused of burning pages of the Quran in October.

While the Christian boy and his mother remained behind bars, local Christian leader Asiya Nasir, Jamait Ulema Islam F’s member of national assembly, worked together with other leaders to secure their release.

Nasir Saeed, director for CLAAS UK, said this is not the first time that a minor has been charged with a blasphemy offence. He cited several examples, such as the incident in 1993 when Slamat Masih, 12, was charged under the blasphemy law for a crime he never committed. In 2011 a Christian girl, F. Bhatti, 13, was accused of blasphemy by her Muslim teacher for misspelling.

Mr Saeed said, ‘In this latest case, the eight-year-old boy may have never have even heard the word of blasphemy. Unfortunately, this is the worst example of hatred and intolerance against Christians and treatment towards them in Pakistan.

‘The government of Pakistan must look into such cases and take appropriate steps to bring necessary changes to stop the ongoing misuse of this law. The international community has continuously expressed its concern and called for amendments’.

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