Pakistani Christians live in fear after the arrest of a Christian girl for allegedly committing blasphemy against Islam.
In 2011, the non-profit group Life for All-Pakistan, led by Christian activist Xavier William, carried out a study across 13 jails in Punjab province, interviewing 93 prisoners accused of blasphemy. The report found that the majority are kept in solitary confinement “for their own protection, due to the very real threat to their lives from other inmates and prison guards.”
The report concluded that no one accused and convicted of blasphemy had ever been executed under Pakistani law, but added that “hundreds of Christians who have been charged with blasphemy have died, many in suspicious circumstances in jails and at the hands of extremist armed attackers.”
More disturbingly, the study found that the blasphemy laws were often used to settle personal scores. The mere accusation produces such a fierce reaction that an accused person stands little chance of being cleared. The majority of those accused of blasphemy in Pakistan are actually Muslims who belong to various Muslim sects.
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