US Citizen Fatally Shot During Blasphemy Trial In Pakistan


Screenshot from YouTube

A bystander in a courtroom shot and killed US citizen Tahir Ahmed Naseem Wednesday during her trial for blasphemy in Peshawar, Pakistan, reported CNN. Police arrested the gunman, who they identified only as Faisal, 19, at the scene.

Naseem faced blasphemy charges after he allegedly claimed to be a prophet, an offense punishable by death under Pakistan’s penal code.

The US State Department issued a statement that said Naseem had been “lured to Pakistan from his home in Illinois by individuals who then used Pakistan’s blasphemy laws to entrap him.”

According to the New York Times, the United States is now urging Pakistan to revisit its blasphemy laws.

In a Twitter post on Thursday, the State Department’s Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs stated, “We urge Pakistan to take immediate action and pursue reforms that will prevent such a shameful tragedy from happening again.”

Pakistan’s blasphemy laws have been criticized as being used as a way to marginalize and persecute religious minorities.

“He is an enemy of Islam,” the NY Times quoted the gunman as saying about Naseem. “He is an enemy of Pakistan.”

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