Pakistani religious group demands execution of blasphemers

AP News
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Posted: Apr 15, 2016 2:11 PM

ISLAMABAD (AP) — A Pakistani religious group on Friday demanded the immediate execution of a Christian woman on death row and all others convicted under the country's harsh blasphemy law.

Small groups from the Sunni Tehrik party held demonstrations in different Pakistani cities warning the government against any attempt to amend the blasphemy law.

A statement from the party accused the government of seeking to change the blasphemy law to pave way for transforming the country into a secular and liberal state.

The protesters demanded the execution of all those convicted of blasphemy including Aasia Bibi, who was convicted in 2010. Her appeal was dismissed by the Lahore High Court in 2014, but the supreme court stayed her execution in 2015 and suspended the high court verdict.

Bibi was arrested under the blasphemy law after she had a verbal clash with Muslim women working at a farm harvesting berries in eastern Punjab province. She was accused of insulting the prophet of Islam, a charge she has repeatedly denied.

Governor Salman Taseer of Punjab and minority minister Shahbaz Bhatti were murdered in 2011 after speaking in support of Bibi and calling for reform of Pakistan's blasphemy law.