An American citizen, accused of violating Pakistani laws of Pakistan, was shot and killed in court.
Tahir Ahmad Naseem, 57, had been on trial at the Peshawar Judicial Complex on charges he claimed to be a prophet when he was shot six times. The shooter was identified by authorities as a 19-year-old local man named “Faisal”.
The United States urged Pakistan on Thursday to fix the harsh law, which critics say often persecutes members of religious minorities, according to the New York Times.
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Naseem had been lured to Pakistan by Illinois by people who wanted to capture him using Pakistan blasphemy laws, according to the State Department. Conical officers had worked with Naseem and his family since it was held there in 2018.
“We grieve for Mr. Naseem’s family,” said Cale Brown, a State Department spokeswoman. “We urge Pakistan to immediately reform its often abused blasphemy laws and its judicial system, which allow such abuses to occur, and ensure that the suspect is prosecuted to the full extent of the law.”
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Ahmad Naseem had been a member of the Ahmadi sect, which was declared heretical under the Constitution of Pakistan, according to the Times, but he left the group and claimed to be the messiah.
He was charged with blasphemy in 2018.