Younus, the brother-in-law of Asia Bibi, a Pakistani Christian woman who spent years in jail before her acquittal, was killed in Sheikhupura city of Punjab province in Pakistan on Monday.
According to the FIR, Younus had gone to his farms on May 24 and did not return home at night. His body with throat slit was traced in the farm the following morning.
In 2011, Salman Taseer, the influential governor of Punjab was assassinated after he made headlines by appealing for the pardon of Asia Bibi, who had been sentenced to death for allegedly insulting Prophet Muhammad.
A month after Taseer was killed, Religious Minorities Minister Shahbaz Bhatti, a Christian who spoke out against the laws, was shot dead in Islamabad, underlining the threat faced by critics of the law.
Asia Bibi is now living in exile after the Supreme Court of Pakistan acquitted her based on insufficient evidence in October 2018.
Recounting the hellish conditions of eight years spent on death row on blasphemy charges but also the pain of exile, Asia Bibi recently broke her silence to give her first personal insight into an ordeal that caused international outrage.
French journalist Anne-Isabelle Tollet, who has co-written a book about her, was once based in the country where she led a support campaign for her.
“You already know my story through the media,” she said in the book. “But you are far from understanding my daily life in prison or my new life,” she said.
“I became a prisoner of fanaticism,” she said. In prison, “tears were the only companions in the cell”.
Pakistan’s blasphemy laws carry a potential death sentence for anyone who insults Islam. Critics say they have been used to persecute minority faiths and unfairly target minorities.
No government in Pakistan has made changesto the blasphemy law due to fears of a backlash.