For Immediate Release: January 4, 2011
Washington, DC – Today, following news that Salman Taseer, Governor of Punjab, Pakistan and a member of the nation’s ruling Pakistan People’s Party, was allegedly murdered by a member of his security team as a result of his opposition to blasphemy laws, Human Rights First’s Tad Stahnke issued the following statement:
“The murder of Governor Salman Taseer is the most recent illustration of how deadly the debate over blasphemy laws has become. After speaking out against the proposed death sentence of a Christian woman accused of blasphemy, Taseer was allegedly killed by one of his guards.
“Despite the demands of religious extremists, Pakistan’s government should make clear their commitment to amend laws that promote religious intolerance and perpetuate prejudice. Officials should also punish the person responsible for this disturbing crime to send a clear signal that such acts will not be tolerated.
“As illustrated by the recent vote in the General Assembly, the world community is increasingly rejecting the concept of a global blasphemy law and will have an opportunity to vote against that concept once again in March when the Human Rights Council convenes.”
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