Pakistan Busts Schoolkid for Blasphemy

Human Rights Watch calls the case 'mind boggling'
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 3, 2011 4:21 AM CST
Pakistan Busts Schoolkid for Blasphemy
Pakistani protesters chant slogans during a rally to protest against any attempt to modify the Blasphemy laws, in Multan, Pakistan, Friday, Jan. 21, 2011.   (AP Photo/Khalid Tanveer)

(Newser) – A 17-year-old boy in Karachi has been arrested for blaspheming the Prophet Muhammad in a school exam, drawing widespread condemnation, reports the BBC. Human Rights Watch called for the boy's release, saying that for police to lock him up was "mind boggling."

"Pakistan has set the standard for intolerance when it comes to misusing blasphemy laws, but sending a schoolboy to jail for something he scribbled on an exam paper is truly appalling," says a researcher at Human Rights Watch. The controversy comes less than a month after provincial governor Salman Taseer was slain by his own bodyguard for proposing reform of the blasphemy law.
(Read more blasphemy stories.)

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