20 September 2012

World Council of Churches speaks out on Pakistan’s blasphemy law

The participants of a World Council of Churches (WCC) sponsored hearing on the misuse of Pakistan's blasphemy laws have urged the Pakistani government to "take realistic and solid steps to stop abuse of the blasphemy law that are causing massive human rights violations."

"Tinkering with procedural amendments has not delivered; it has failed to mitigate extremely sad consequences of a law that is inherently susceptible to abuse," the group said in a communiqué released this afternoon.

The communiqué was issued at the end of a three-day public hearing on "Misuse of blasphemy law and religious minorities in Pakistan" organized by the WCC's Commission of the Churches on International Affairs (CCIA) from 17 to 19 September in Geneva, Switzerland.

The blasphemy law is part of the Penal Code of Pakistan. The WCC communiqué argues that the law, as amended in the 1980s, is "vaguely formulated and arbitrarily enforced by the police and judiciary" and "has become one of the most stringent laws in the country".

Click here to read the full communiqué.


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