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  • mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato


    » 02/03/2011, 00.00

    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)

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    See also

    12/01/2011 PAKISTAN
    Blasphemy law: Pope’s call highlights split in Pakistani society
    Radical leaders and Islamic movements incite crowds and warn Christians against forming a party to repeal the law, a step that would bring chaos. The government denies it plans changes to the law. Civil society leaders appreciate Benedict XVI’s speech. Bilawal Bhutto defends minorities. Muslim intellectual calls for full religious freedom and a secular state.

    10/01/2011 PAKISTAN
    In Karachi, 50,000 rally behind blasphemy law
    Fundamentalist leaders organise rally and praise Salman Taseer’s murderer as a “hero of Islam”. The Pope appeals to the Pakistani government to repeal the law because it is a “pretext” for violence and injustice. Pakistani Christians pray for the governor of Punjab, a “martyr” according to Saudi newspaper Arab News.

    26/08/2011 PAKISTAN
    Shahbaz Taseer, son of slain Punjab governor, seized in Lahore
    Armed men abducted him this morning as he went to work. His mobile phones, laptop and other personal items were thrown away. Experts believe he will be used to obtain the release of his father’s murderer. Catholic Church slams the act.

    01/10/2011 PAKISTAN
    Pakistan: death sentence for Salman Taseer’s assassin Mumtaz Qadri
    The Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) of Pakistan today issued the sentence defining the murder "a heinous and unjustifiable crime ". Qadri’s lawyers argue the "inevitability" of the murder, caused by Taseer’s "reprehensible statements" on blasphemy law. Protests outside the prison. Bishop of Islamabad: "a brave judgement, now we must work together for a tolerant society."

    05/01/2012 PAKISTAN
    Pakistani Christians remember Salman Taseer as extremists celebrate his assasin
    A year after the death of Governor of Punjab prayer vigils and demonstrations in many parts of the country. The family worried about the fate of his son Shahbaz, for over six months in the hands of his kidnappers. Bishop of Islamabad: "milestone" in the confessional killings. Fundamentalists offer 100 million rupees for the "holy pistol."



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    Global Times: the pope should accept the independence of the Chinese Church



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    Archbishop of Guwahati: In Asia religion is not dying, the faithful take strength from the Eucharist



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