PAKISTAN: MUSLIM ACCUSED OF INSULTING ISLAM KILLED IN COURT
July 29, 2020:
A young Pakistani Muslim walked into a courtroom in the northwestern city of Peshawar on 29 July 2020 and shot and killed a fellow Muslim who was on trial for blasphemy, a police officer said. (Sources: AP, 29/07/2020)
It was not immediately clear how the assailant, identified as Khalid Khan, managed to get into the court amid tight security. The attacker was subsequently arrested.
The man on trial, Tahir Shamim Ahmad, had claimed he was Islam’s prophet and was arrested two years ago on blasphemy charges, according to Azmat Khan, the police officer. Ahmad died before he could be transported to hospital.
Blasphemy is an extremely controversial issue in Pakistan, where people convicted of the crime can be sentenced to life in prison or the death penalty. But crowds and individuals in Pakistan often take the law into their own hands.
While authorities have yet to carry out a death sentence for blasphemy, even the mere accusation can cause riots. Domestic and international human rights groups say blasphemy allegations have often been used to intimidate religious minorities and settle personal scores.