Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Pakistan Ambassador To U.S. Faces Blasphemy Charges

Here's a good one. Some man in Pakistan is trying to get the Pakistani Ambassador to the United States- Sherry Rehman- charged with blasphemy because she wants the death penalty removed from the blasphemy laws. Faheem Akhtar Gill took his petition all the way to the Supreme Court where he has finally gotten some traction. The Asian Human Rights Commission has a petition and the following information regarding the case:

The Supreme Court of Pakistan, in its effort to gain popularity with the fundamentalists, has admitted a petition filed against Islamabad's ambassador to the United States of America for committing blasphemy by demanding the withdrawal of the death sentence from the blasphemy laws. The petition was filed by a business man from Multan, Punjab province. Mr. Faheem Akhtar Gill was infuriated after watching an interview of Mrs. Rehman and tried to lodge a case against her for committing blasphemy with the police. When, initially the police refused to accept the case he filed cases on different occasions in a session court and then finally in the High Court of Punjab where the honourable judges also rejected his plea to book Rehman. However the Supreme Court (SC) has taken up Gill's petition against Rehman for regular hearing and asked the police to conduct enquiries into the charges of her having committing blasphemy and report back to the Supreme Court. This creates doubts that the Supreme Court is, in fact, trying to influence the police to 'find' something against another ambassador to the USA.

There was no outcry within the country against Ambassador Rehman with regard to her comments but the Supreme Court without any concrete evidence has taken up the petition for hearing and again transferred it to the police for enquiry. In the initial stage the police already rejected the application of the petitioner as they did not find any concrete evidence of her having committed blasphemy. The question begs to be asked that if the police did not find any evidence before how it might be possible that it suddenly exists now.

Read the rest here, with a link to the petition.

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