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UN official criticizes Pakistan’s blasphemy law

Catholic World News - June 01, 2012

A United Nations official has criticized Pakistan’s application of its blasphemy law, which for decades has been used against Christians charged with insulting Islam.

“I am especially concerned regarding cases brought under the so-called blasphemy law as it was reported to me that judges have been coerced to decide against the accused even without supporting evidence,” said Gabriela Knaul, the UN’s special rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers. “They are afraid of reprisals by local communities because of their interpretation of the law.”

“The issue is not new, but we are happy that is raised at the United Nations,” said Father James Channan, a Dominican who ministers in Lahore. “We hope that this position has an impact and that justice is guaranteed in Pakistani courts.”

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