Pakistan looks to curtail “abuse” of blasphemy laws

Trying to prevent abuse of laws that are themselves an abuse. The U.S. State Department provides this summary of Pakistan’s blasphemy laws, Section 295 of the Pakistan Penal Code:

Section 295(a), the blasphemy provision of the Penal Code, originally stipulated a maximum 2-year sentence for insulting the religion of any class of citizens. This sentence was increased to 10 years in 1991. In 1982 Section 295(b) was added, which stipulated a sentence of life imprisonment for “whoever willfully defiles, damages, or desecrates a copy of the holy Koran.” In 1986 another amendment, 295(c), established the death penalty or life imprisonment for directly or indirectly defiling “the sacred name of the Holy Prophet Mohammad.” In 1991 a court struck down the option of life imprisonment. These laws, especially Section 295(c), have been used by rivals and authorities to threaten, punish, or intimidate Ahmadis, Christians, and even orthodox Muslims. Since 1996 magistrates are now required to investigate allegations of blasphemy to see whether they are credible before filing formal charges.

Courtesy Dhimmi Watch read the whole thing…