ISLAMABAD (AP) — Pakistani police said Tuesday they foiled an attempt by a mob to lynch a blasphemy suspect recently arrested on charges of insulting Islam.
The mob stormed the Golra police station on the outskirts of Islamabad on Monday night, after police refused to hand over the suspect to the crowd outside for punishment, local police chief Asim Ghaffar said.
The suspect, Shaukat Ali, was unharmed while six police officials were slightly injured in the attack, Ghaffar said. Aali is accused of sharing anti-Islam content on social media.
Blasphemy carries the death penalty in Pakistan. Rights groups say that in this country, blasphemy allegations have often been used to intimidate religious minorities and settle personal scores.
A Punjab governor in Islamabad was shot and killed by his own guard in 2011, after he defended a Christian woman, Aasia Bibi, who was accused of blasphemy. She was acquitted after spending eight years on death row and left Pakistan for Canada to join her family after receiving threats.