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 lawshave urged the Pakistani government to "take realistic and solidsteps to stop abuse of the blasphemy law that are causing massivehuman rights violations."

"Tinkering with procedural amendments has notdelivered; it has failed to mitigate extremely sad consequences ofa law that is inherently susceptible to abuse," the group said in acommuniqué released this afternoon.

The communiqué was issued at the end of athree-day public hearing on "Misuse of blasphemy law and religiousminorities in Pakistan" organized by the WCC's Commission of theChurches on International Affairs (CCIA) from 17 to 19 September inGeneva, Switzerland.

The blasphemy law is part of the Penal Code ofPakistan. The WCC communiqué argues that the law, as amended in the1980s, is "vaguely formulated and arbitrarily enforced by thepolice and judiciary" and "has become one of the most stringentlaws in the country".

Click here to readthe full communiqué.