24 October, 2014 AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook            

Help AsiaNews | About us | P.I.M.E. | | RssNewsletter | Mobile





mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato
e-mail this to a friend printable version


» 02/03/2011
PAKISTAN
Blasphemy law: Rehman withdraws proposed changes, as teacher denounces 17-year-old boy
With her life threatened by Muslim fundamentalists, the PPP Member of the National Assembly accepts to toe the party line and accept the government’s view. Prime Minister Gilani confirms that changes will not be introduced. A student is arrested in Karachi for blasphemy after he is accused of insulting the name of Muhammad in an exam. Human Rights Watch calls the decision “truly appalling”.

Lahore (AsiaNews) – Sherry Rehman, a member of the National Assembly for the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), has agreed to follow the party line and withdraw her bill to amend the controversial blasphemy law. Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani made the announcement at a meeting with a group lawmakers in Islamabad. He said he had spoken to Rehman and that she had agreed to withdraw her proposed bill to amend the ‘black law’. In the meantime, a 17-year-old student was jailed on blasphemy charges after an invigilator reported on him for insulting the name of the Prophet Muhammad in an exam paper.

Ms Rehman, who has been threatened by Muslim fundamentalists for proposing changes to the controversial law, has decided to accept her party’s line after Prime Minister Gilani said the government had closed the door to any changes to the law.

Last year, she had proposed eliminating the death penalty from Section 295-C of the Pakistan Penal Code, which covers blasphemy, enraging fundamentalists who then issued a fatwa against her.

Sherry Rehman had explained that changes were designed to “prevent abuses” in the application of the law. In a public statement, she had talked about “simple” changes to guarantee that people were “given a chance to prove their innocence” and to ensure that no one could “makes false charges in the name of the Holy Prophet”.

Meanwhile, the infamous ‘black law’ continues to be abused. Pakistani police arrested a 17-year-old student in Karachi last Friday. He is accused of blaspheming against Islam in a paper he wrote during a high school final exam. Muhammad Samiullah, who has been in jail since his arrest, was denounced by one of the invigilators in charge of supervising the exam.

Human rights groups and civil society associations responded immediately calling for the repeal of the blasphemy law. Human Rights Watch (HRW) appealed to the Pakistani government to let the boy go.

“Pakistan has set the standard for intolerance when it comes to misusing blasphemy laws, but sending a schoolboy to jail for something he scribbled on an exam paper is truly appalling," said Bede Sheppard, senior children's rights researcher at Human Rights Watch.

Mgr Lawrence Saldhana, archbishop of Lahore and president of the Bishops’ Conference of Pakistan, spoke out against the growing Islamisation of the country and the ever-tighter bond between state and religion. He said he was saddened by the attacks against the Pope and the burning of the pictures of Benedict XVI and Minority Affairs Minister Shahbaz Bhatti. Dissociating himself from any violent action, he extended his “solidarity and gratitude” to the Catholic minister, but did not mention the blasphemy law or any changes to it. (JK)


e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
01/12/2011 PAKISTAN
Blasphemy law: Pope’s call highlights split in Pakistani society
by Jibran Khan
01/10/2011 PAKISTAN
In Karachi, 50,000 rally behind blasphemy law
by Jibran Khan
08/26/2011 PAKISTAN
Shahbaz Taseer, son of slain Punjab governor, seized in Lahore
by Jibran Khan
10/01/2011 PAKISTAN
Pakistan: death sentence for Salman Taseer’s assassin Mumtaz Qadri
by Jibran Khan
01/05/2012 PAKISTAN
Pakistani Christians remember Salman Taseer as extremists celebrate his assasin
by Jibran Khan

Editor's choices
IRAQ - ITALY
Almost 700,000 euros raised as the 'Adopt a Christian from Mosul' campaign continues
by Bernardo CervelleraA second instalment is sent with funds raised in September. The fate of East-West relations is being played out in the Middle East and Iraq. Pope Francis and the Synod issue an appeal. Governments are lukewarm. Aid is coming from around the world. A new international community is defeating the "globalisation of indifference."
IRAQ-VATICAN
"Adopt a Christian from Mosul": Archbishops’ thanks as first aid arrives
by Amel NonaMsgr. Amel Nona, the Chaldean Archbishop of Mosul, who is also a refugee himself, thanks all the donors to the AsiaNews campaign. The situation is increasingly difficult given the huge number of refugees and the arrival of winter and snow, making outdoor shelters and tents impossible. The crisis, an occasion that activates the faith of Christians.
ITALY - IRAQ
After raising € 350,000, 'Adopt a Christian from Mosul' campaign continues
by Bernardo CervelleraDonations raised up to 31 August have been sent to the patriarch of Baghdad and the bishops of Kurdistan. The campaign helps to feed, house, clothe, and bring comfort to more than 150,000 Christian, Yazidi, Turkmen, Shia and Sunni refugees who fled the violence of the army of the Islamic Caliphate. People in Italy and around the world have been generous, including the poor and the unemployed, a sign of hope for the world as well as those who suffer and those who give.

Dossier

by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
Copyright © 2003 AsiaNews C.F. 00889190153 All rights reserved. Content on this site is made available for personal, non-commercial use only. You may not reproduce, republish, sell or otherwise distribute the content or any modified or altered versions of it without the express written permission of the editor. Photos on AsiaNews.it are largely taken from the internet and thus considered to be in the public domain. Anyone contrary to their publication need only contact the editorial office which will immediately proceed to remove the photos.