Hundreds in Pakistan rally for governor's killer

AP News
Posted: Oct 11, 2011 5:28 AM
Hundreds in Pakistan rally for governor's killer

Hundreds of demonstrators have rallied in support of a Pakistani man convicted of assassinating a liberal governor in the name of Islam.

Tuesday's rally took place as Mumtaz Qadri appealed his death sentence before a high court.

Khwaja Sharif, Qadri's lawyer, said the court in Islamabad halted his client's execution until it rules on the appeal _ a common procedural step.

Qadri has admitted killing Salman Taseer, the governor of Punjab province, in January, because of the official's criticism of Pakistani law that mandates the death penalty for insulting Islam.

Analysts say the law is often misused to persecute Christians and other minorities.

Thousands have defended Qadri's actions, raising concern of growing radicalization in Pakistan.