LAHORE, Pakistan (AP) — Pakistan’s police said Wednesday they were seeking arrest of two Christian men in the eastern city of Lahore on charges they allegedly used insulting remarks against Islam’s holy book and its Prophet Muhammad.
The case against the two men was registered last Saturday on the complaint of a Muslim local resident Haroon Ahmed, said Muratab Ali, a police investigator, who said the accused persons had yet to be arrested.
He provided no further details and only said they were still investigating to determine whether the two minority Christians made derogatory remarks about the Quran and Islam’s Prophet during a discussion on religion.
Under Pakistan’s blasphemy laws, anyone accused of insulting Islam or other religious figures can be sentenced to death if found guilty. While authorities have yet to carry out a death sentence for blasphemy, just the accusation of blasphemy can cause riots in Pakistan.
According to domestic and international human rights groups, blasphemy allegations in Pakistan have often been used to intimidate religious minorities and to settle personal scores. A Punjab governor was 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.