Close button
The Guardian
Email YouTube Facebook Instagram Twitter WhatsApp
x

Blasphemy suspect gunned down in Pakistan court

Related

Security personnel (L and R) stand guard outside the district court building following the killing of a man allegedly accused of blasphemy in Peshawar on July 29, 2020. (Photo by – / AFP) 

A Pakistani man facing charges of blasphemy was shot dead in court on Wednesday as he awaited the start of his hearing, police said.

Tahir Ahmad Nasim, 47, was a member of a persecuted sect whose faith has been deemed heretical in Pakistan because they challenge the succession of the Prophet Mohammed.

x

He had been escorted into court by police in the northern city of Peshawar when a man opened fire with a pistol.

The victim died on the spot while his 24-year-old attacker was arrested.

“He was killed by a young man inside the court while waiting his turn to appear before the judge,” official Misal Khan told AFP.

Nasim was first arrested in April 2018 after a local accused him of blasphemy, a highly inflammatory charge in deeply conservative Pakistan that has sparked mob lynchings, vigilante murders and mass protests.

A conviction sometimes carries the death penalty.

He was a member of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community that many mainstream Islamic schools consider to hold blasphemous beliefs.

The group has been designated non-Muslims under Pakistan’s constitution and have long been persecuted.

Senior police officer Mansur Amaan said authorities were investigating how the attacker managed to get his hands on a firearm inside a courtroom.

“He might have pulled the gun out of a policeman’s holster,” Amaan said.

x

Receive News Alerts on Whatsapp: +2348136370421

No comments yet