8-year-old boy becomes the youngest person to face the death penalty for “blasphemy” in Pakistan

Aug 10th

An 8-year-old Hindu boy has become the youngest person charged with blasphemy in Pakistan.

Blasphemy charges can lead to the death penalty.

And oh, how I wish this was just some sick and twisted satire...

Last month, the boy was accused of deliberately urinating on a carpet in the library where religious books were kept in an Islamic seminary, in Bhong, Pakistan.

The boy is currently being held in protective police custody after being held in jail for a week and his family is in hiding.

After the boy was released on bail, last week, a Muslim crowd attacked a Hindu temple in Punjab and set it on fire as retaliation, according to the Guardian. Troops were deployed and 50 out of the 150 accused have been arrested for the temple attack. Many Hindus from the conservative district in Rahim Yar Khan have fled their homes.

Legal experts were shocked, to say the least, by the blasphemy charges filed against a child.

The names of the boy and family were not made public by the Guardian to protect their safety but they did speak to one of the family members, "He [the boy] is not even aware of such blasphemy issues and he has been falsely indulged in these matters. He still doesn't understand what his crime was and why he was kept in jail for a week."

The family and other members of the Hindu community who fled are scared to return home. They left everything behind in fear of backlash. Hindus are the religious minorities in the area and don't want to return home until they know they will be protected.

Kapil Dev, a human rights activist, said: "I demand charges against the boy are immediately dropped, and urge the government to provide security for the family and those forced to flee... Attacks on Hindu temples have increased in the last few years showing an escalating level of extremism and fanaticism. The recent attacks seem to be a new wave of persecution of Hindus."

[Warning: Violence]

Absolutely horrible.


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