Resources on Faith, Ethics and Public Life

Pakistan: Use and Abuse of Blasphemy Laws

July 26, 1994

Published in July 1994 by Amnesty International, "Pakistan: Use and Abuse of Blasphemy Laws" provides an overview of laws against blasphemy in Pakistan. Amnesty International reports that all the cases it is familiar with appear to be arbitrary, pursued for individual or political gain, or to intimidate and punish members of minority religious communities. The report also notes that the Pakistani authorities uncritically accept accusations of blasphemy, perhaps because they themselves are facing individual or political pressure, as well as the very public vilification of those accused of blasphemy. In addition to evaluating blasphemy laws at the time of writing, the report also traces the evolution of the laws and articulates Amnesty International's concerns and recommendations.

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