Pakistani police kill Christian charged with blasphemy

Islamabad, May 29: Days after President Pervez Musharraf called for a review of Islamic laws, a Pakistani Christian accused of blasphemy was killed by a police constable, media reports said.

Samuel Masih, 27, was arrested in August, 2003, for allegedly scattering garbage near a mosque in the eastern city of Lahore and was awaiting trial.

Amnesty International

Introduced in 1979 by former military dictator Zia-ul-Haq to win support of radical Islamic parties, the blasphemy law stipulates the capital punishment for anyone insulting Islam or desecrating the name of prophet Mohammad.

Samuel was under medical treatment for tuberculosis in a Lahore hospital when he was attacked by police constable Faryad Ali last week with an iron bar. Masih died of his wounds yesterday.

Constable Ali was arrested before Samuel died. He was buried today in Lahore amid scenes of protests and anger.

The law has been widely criticised by religious communities and human rights organisations for its “discriminatory” nature..

Musharraf had recently called for a review of the blasphemy and the hudood laws.

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The Telegraph, India
May 29, 2004
Imtiaz Gul

Religion News Blog posted this on Saturday May 29, 2004.
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