(WASHINGTON) JUST IN: U.S. Urges Pakistan on Thursday to overhaul the country’s harsh blasphemy laws a day after an American citizen accused of violating them was fatally shot in a courtroom #AceNewsDesk repo rt

#AceNewsReport – July.30: The brazen killing has brought into sharp focus Pakistan’s much-maligned blasphemy laws, which critics say are often used to persecute and intimidate members of religious minorities: The American, Tahir Ahmad Naseem, 57, was on trial in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar on charges that he had claimed to be a prophet. Mr. Naseem was shot six times on Wednesday by a young man whom the authorities identified only as Faisal, 19, a local resident: The killing, in a courtroom at the Peshawar Judicial Complex, drew strong condemnation from the U.S. government:

American Accused of Blasphemy Is Killed in Pakistan Courtroom

The shooting of Tahir Ahmad Naseem drew strong U.S. condemnation of Pakistan’s blasphemy laws, which are often used to persecute and intimidate religious minorities.

By Salman Masood: July.

30, 2020, 10:57 a.m. ET: NYT.Com/

Published: NYTimes: https://ift.tt/3hVhAkX

“We extend our condolences to the family of Tahir Naseem, the American citizen who was killed today inside a courtroom in Pakistan,” the State Department’s Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs said in a Twitter post on Thursday. “We urge Pakistan to take immediate action and pursue reforms that will prevent such a shameful tragedy from happening again.” Mr. Naseem was accused of blasphemy in 2018 on charges that carried penalties ranging from fines to death “

He had been a member of the Ahmadi sect, which has been declared heretical under the Pakistani Constitution and whose members face repeated persecution: However, representatives said Mr. Naseem had left the sect and had claimed to be the messiah and a prophet.

#AceNewsDesk report ………….Published: July.30: 2020:

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