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Police in Pakistan detain 23 people for deadly mob lynching

Jun 25, 2024

Islamabad [Pakistan], June 25: Police in north-western Pakistan have arrested at least 23 individuals who were allegedly part of a mob that lynched a man to death and burnt his body following unsubstantiated blasphemy accusations, officials reported on Monday.
The lynching, which occurred Thursday in the Swat region, is the latest in a series of blasphemy-related incidents in Pakistan.
It has sparked widespread public outrage and prompted a strong condemnation from the national parliament on Sunday.
The victim was accused of desecrating the Muslim holy book of the Koran in his hotel room. A mob dragged him from police custody, lynched him and then burnt his body.
"We have already arrested 23 people over the weekend and conducting a raid for more suspects being identified through mobile footage of the incident," stated local police chief Islamul Haq.
Due to the sensitivity of the case, all the suspects are being held at a secret location and had not appeared in court as of Monday, according to another officer, Mohamed Karam.
Blasphemy is a sensitive issue in Pakistan and those accused can become the target of extremist vigilante groups.
In some cases, accused individuals have been gunned down, burned alive or bludgeoned to death.
Last month, a mob vandalized a Christian neighborhood in the central province of Punjab and tortured a man over allegations of blasphemy.
He died in hospital some weeks later.
In 2020, a Pakistani-US citizen was shot and killed inside a courtroom during his blasphemy trial.
Source: Qatar Tribune