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Pakistan jails most citizens for Blasphemy: US report

Friday, 14 March 2014 - 12:49pm IST | Place: WASHINGTON | Agency: ANI
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Pakistan reportedly ranks No. 1 among countries that increasingly uses blasphemy laws to jail citizens for 'attacking' religion, according to a US report.

The report by the US Commission on International Religious Freedom, a government advisory panel expressed concern over the increased use of blasphemy laws to punish people who expressed different religious views or those who have been falsely accused of doing so.

According to the Dawn, the report found that Pakistan used its controversial law at a level "incomparable" to anywhere else, listing 14 people on death row and 19 others serving life sentences for alleged blasphemy against Islam.

Knox Thames, the commission's director of policy and research said that this trend of greater usage of blasphemy laws will surely lead to increased violations of the freedoms of religion and expression.

He said that governments will jail people, and extremists may kill others in the defense of undefined notions of religious sentiment, calling blasphemy laws "inherently problematic.

Meanwhile, Egypt, Bangladesh, Russia and Greece were also included in the list of countries that arrested and punished citizens on account of blasphemy.




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