01/04/2017, 10.55
PAKISTAN
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Salman Taseer’s son risks prosecution for blasphemy

Today marks the sixth anniversary of the murder of former Punjab Governor. Salman Taseer was killed by his bodyguard for criticizing the "black law" on blasphemy and defending the Christian mother Asia Bibi. His son Shaan Taseer released a video deemed offensive.

Islamabad (AsiaNews) - The son of Salman Taseer, the former Punjab governor assassinated for criticizing the "black law" on blasphemy, is likely to be indicted for insulting the Prophet Muhammad. Fundamentalist groups in Pakistan accuse Shaan Taseer of having published an offensive video. The man used social media to ask people to pray for those who are locked up because of the blasphemy law.

Taseer told the BBC: " In my Christmas message, I asked all my countryman to make a special prayer for everyone who has suffered religious persecution in Pakistan”. He said it was time to raise the "very basic question" of whether Pakistani citizens should be able to talk about the country's "unjust" laws on blasphemy. "This issue has been shut down at the barrel of a gun after my father's death," he said, adding: "The law of the land states very clearly that every citizen has the right to talk about not just the blasphemy law but every law".

The man is the son of former Governor of Punjab, who was assassinated six years ago today. 4 January 2011 Mumtaz Qadri, one of Salman Taseer’s body guards, killed the governor leaving a restaurant in Islamabad, because of his positions against the blasphemy law, which provides for life imprisonment or the death sentence for those who desecrate the Koran or desecrate the name of the prophet Muhammad.

The confessed killer has always claimed the murder to punish the governor, who had expressed himself in favor of Asia Bibi, a Christian mother held on charges of insulting the Prophet. In October 2015, the Pakistani Supreme Court upheld the assassin’s death sentence, carried out in February last year amid high security for fear of retaliation by Islamic extremists. 

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