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Marginalization, threats, and misery for families charged with blasphemy

Faisalabad (AsiaNews) - Blasphemy does not affect only those who are accused of it, but also their families, reducing them to misery and condemning them to marginalization. Naveed Walter, president of the NGO Human Rights Focus Pakistan (HRFP), asserts that "their sufferings remain hidden, and do not reach the eyes and ears of the public."

As an example, Walter explains what happened to the families of James Masih, 70, and Boota Masih, 66, both accused by a neighbor, Arshad Mubarak, of burning a copy of the Qur'an in the street.

Walter points out that the accused are often ordinary people, not very well educated, and without the means of defending themselves. They are not aware of their rights, and are paralyzed by fear and lack of security, incapable of convincing the judges, who often issue sentences under pressure from Islamic extremists.

The families of those accused also fa


Added: Feb-17-2009 
Tags: islam, tolerance
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