Pakistani mob burns alive a man accused of desecrating the Koran

By Reuters Staff
December 23, 2012

(An Iraqi boy holds a page from a half burned holy book of Koran in a house damaged in a raid by Iraqi and U.S. forces in Baghdad’s Sadr City July 23, 2006. REUTERS/Kareem Raheem)

A mob broke into a Pakistani police station and burnt a man accused of desecrating the Koran alive, police said Saturday, in the latest violence focusing attention on the country’s blasphemy laws.

The man was a traveler and had spent Thursday night at the mosque, said Maulvi Memon, the imam in the southern village of Seeta in Sindh province. The charred remains of the Koran were found the next morning.

“He was alone in the mosque during the night,” Memon said. “There was no one else there to do this terrible thing.”

Villagers beat the man then handed him over to police. A few hours later, a crowd of around 200 stormed the police station, dragged the man out and set him on fire, said Usman Ghani, the senior superintendent of police in Dadu district.

Ghani said around 30 people had been arrested for the murder and seven police detained for negligence.

At least 53 people have been killed in Pakistan since 1990 after being accused of blasphemy, according to the Center for Research and Security Studies, and accusations are becoming more frequent.

Read the full story by Hamid Sheikh here.
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