Pakistan: lawyers hit with blasphemy charges after protesting police actions
May 14, 2014
The use of Pakistan’s draconian blasphemy law to punish religious minorities has taken an ominous new turn, with charges filed against 68 lawyers who protested police actions, the AsiaNews service reports.
In the Punjab district, the lawyers were said to have insulted an official whose name, Omar, is also the name of the 2nd caliph. Thus they had mocked Islam, their accusers said.
Although arrests have not yet been made, and the charges could be dropped, the use of the blasphemy law jeopardizes the lawyers, who may now be targets of Islamic zealots. The charges illustrate how the blasphemy law can be used to settle personal quarrels.