Pakistan mob kills Christian couple over ‘blasphemy’

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A Christian couple in Pakistan have been beaten to death by an angry

crowd after being accused of desecrating a Koran, police say.

Their bodies were burned at the brick kiln where they worked in the

town of Kot Radha Kishan in Punjab province.

Police identified the victims only as Shama and Shehzad, AFP reports.

Blasphemy is a highly sensitive issue and critics argue the laws are

often misused to settle personal scores and that minorities are

unfairly targeted.

"Yesterday an incident of desecration of the holy Koran took place in

the area and today the mob first beat the couple and later set their

bodies on fire at a brick kiln," local police station official Bin

Yameen told the AFP news agency.

A security official told the BBC that local police had tried to save

the couple, but they were outnumbered and attacked by the angry crowd.

Senior police officials and government ministers have now arrived

there to investigate the killings.

In May gunmen in the city of Multan shot dead a lawyer, Rashid Rehma,

who had been defending a university lecturer accused of blasphemy.

And last month a Pakistani court upheld the death penalty for Asia

Bibi, a Christian woman convicted of blasphemy in 2010 – a case which

sparked a global outcry.

Since the 1990s, scores of Christians have been found guilty of

desecrating the Koran or of blasphemy.

While most of them have been sentenced to death by the lower courts,

many sentences have been overturned due to lack of evidence.

However, correspondents say even the mere accusation of blasphemy is

enough to make someone a target for hardliners.

Muslims constitute a majority of those prosecuted, followed by minority Ahmadis.

Kofi Oppong Kyekyeku

I am a Ghanaian Broadcast Journalist/Writer who has an interest in General News, Sports, Entertainment, Health, Lifestyle and many more.

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