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Pakistan's blasphemy law in focus on World Day for Human Rights

Catholic World News - December 09, 2010

On the eve of the World Day for Human Rights—observed by the UN on December 10—a Catholic priest in Pakistan is suggesting an international campaign to abolish that country’s blasphemy laws.

“The blasphemy law openly contradicts the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, to which Pakistan is a signatory,” Father Mario Rodrigues, director of the Pontifical Mission Societies in Pakistan, told the Fides news service. He characterized the law as “a blatant violation of human rights, permitted and legitimized by the state.”

Pakistan’s blasphemy law has frequently criticized because it allows for attacks on the country’s religious minorities. The issue has been generating international attention in recent weeks because of the case of Asia Bibi, a young Christian woman who was sentenced to death for allegedly insulting Islam. A Pakistani cabinet minister, investigating the case, has found that the judgment was unfair. Nevertheless, Islamic militants have threatened violent reprisals if the Christian woman is not executed.

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