Pakistan student killed over 'blasphemous' Facebook post

Pakistan student killed over 'blasphemous' Facebook post

Alam Shinwari, the city police chief, told reporters that Mashal Khan, who had been studying mass communications, was surrounded by a large crowd of fellow students who first beat him up with sticks and stones, and later fired guns at him. Mehsud maintained that another student "Abdullah" who was also attacked with Mashal Khan, had rejected the allegations against him.

Pakistan's blasphemy laws, which are embedded in Sections 295 and 298 of the Pakistan Penal Code, carry the death penalty, and yet there is no provision to punish a false accuser or a false witness of blasphemy.

Sometime in March 2017, Pakistan's Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, was said to have given a go-ahead to a wide-range crackdown on blasphemous content posted on social media.

Police say they have arrested 20 suspects involved in Khan's murder and have found no evidence to substantiate blasphemy allegations.

CM Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Pervez Khattak has marked the synopsis of a legal investigation into the murder Mashal Khan.

The source said Khan and two friends had been in a debate with other students earlier Thursday about his religious views which became so heated that teachers had to lock him in a room for his safety.

"We urge the authorities to take firm action and bring the perpetrators to speedy justice", said Neil Buhne, UN resident coordinator in Pakistan.

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The independent Human Rights Commission of Pakistan criticised "the state's abject failure to protect Mashal Khan's right to life" saying it "has created great panic and horror among students and academia".

'There are hundreds of sympathisers in my force and if I take too much interest in the case I might be killed too, ' the anonymous police officer said.

"I am shocked and saddened by the senseless display of mob justice that resulted in the murder of a young student", Sharif said.

After they killed Mashal and then continued to hit his body, "the charged students then wanted to burn his body", before police intervened, a police official told Dawn.

According to a Dawn report, a total of 45 people have been detained in connection with the mob attack.

The student's father, Iqbal Shaer, said accusations of blasphemy are absurd. "Do we want to be known as benighted nation?" she added. Khan has since been buried.

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