Tahir Ahmed Naseem, 47, died Wednesday in the northwestern city of Peshawar, after a member of the Public came into the courtroom and opened fire in front of a judge, according to the officials. The assailant was arrested at the scene.
Nazim was in the dock on charges of blasphemy after allegedly claiming to be a prophet, a crime punishable by death or life imprisonment under the Penal code of Pakistan.
In a statement, the US State Department said that officials were “shocked, saddened and outraged by” the death of Nasim at. The statement said that Nazim was “lured to Pakistan from his home in Illinois to persons who then used the blasphemy laws of Pakistan, to lure him into a trap.”He did not offer any additional details. Nasim was receiving consular assistance since his detention in 2018.
According to the representative of police of Peshawar, the alleged killer told Nazim that he was an “enemy of religion” and deserves to be killed before opening fire.
Police are investigating how the suspect was able to enter the courtroom with a loaded weapon. The guards usually stationed outside the court buildings and police officers guard a separate courtrooms.
Weapons are difficult to obtain in Pakistan-the civilian population can not buy weapons or carry without a license. Members of society also, as a rule, not allowed in the local court facilities such as the one where he was shot.
This case has once again highlighted the tension due to the strict laws of the country about the blasphemy that have been associated with a number of acts of violence, including at least one fatal shooting in recent years.
International human rights organizations have widely condemned the law, which critics say disproportionately used against groups of religious minorities and to prosecute journalists who are critical of Pakistani religious organizations.
There are also fears that hardline Islamist groups can ultimately catch the attacker Nazim as a hero, as they did in the past to murderers those associated with accusations of blasphemy.
His killer, Mumtaz Qadri immediately surrendered to police and was later executed. But for many conservative Islamists, Kadri was a Martyr, and his grave became a place of pilgrimage for those who support the death penalty of Asia Bibi.
At that time, Rabia Mahmood, a former employee of the organization “Amnesty international” reports business Bibi became so acute because the Pakistani government failed to take action to curb “a campaign of hatred and violence provoked by certain groups in the country.”
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