Pakistan court seeks to amend blasphemy law

Aug 16, 2017

By Saba Aziz

Blasphemy and accusations of the crime have led to the deaths of dozens of people in Pakistan since 1990.

Rights groups have repeatedly criticised and called for the reform or repeal of the country’s controversial blasphemy laws, which date back to the British empire.

The Islamabad High Court asked parliament on Friday to make changes to the current decree to prevent people from being falsely accused of the crime, which is punishable by death if the Prophet Muhammad is insulted.

Other punishments include a fine or prison term, depending on the specific offence.

In a lengthy 116-page order, Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui suggested that parliament amend the law to require the same punishment of the death penalty for those who falsely allege blasphemy as for those who commit the crime.

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