Most of those accused of blasphemy belonged to the Shia community, who have been booked under 295-A and 298 sections of the Pakistan Penal Code for allegedly ‘insulting the companions of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)’. Similarly, members of Ahmadiyya and Christian communities are also among the people accused of blasphemy.
Pakistan & Blasphemy Cases:
29 July: A Peshawar resident accused of alleged blasphemy shot to death in the court
31 July: Policeman filed a blasphemy case against Raza Haider for one of his Facebook’s posts
— راٹھیPrem (@PremRathee) August 18, 2020
On Monday, Nowshera Police arrested a Christian man in the city after the locals in Risalpure accused him of allegedly desecrating the Holy Quran.
On Sunday, an elderly Shia man accused of issuing blasphemous remarks during a procession on Ashura was booked. A campaign had also begun on social media against the individual which was amplified by accounts of banned sectarian outfits.
Last month, a man was shot dead inside in a Peshawar courtroom by a youth over blasphemy allegations that the deceased had been facing for two years. Similarly, a man working as a private guard killed his colleague over an argument concerning religion.
Blasphemy accusations are highly inflammatory in deeply conservative Pakistan and have in the past sparked mob lynchings, vigilante murders, and mass protests.
Up to 80 people are known to be imprisoned in Pakistan on blasphemy charges — half of whom face life in prison or the death penalty — according to the US Commission on International Religious Freedom.