Pakistan’s authorities have held dozens of supporters of a hard-line Islamic cleric whose celebration led mass protests last month over the acquittal of a Christian lady accused of blasphemy.
Officials say they acted to take care of public order after leaders of the Tehreek-e-Labaik (TLP) celebration refused to call off protests planned for Sunday.
The cleric, Khadim Hussain Rizvi, was himself detained on Friday.
The lady, Asia Bibi, is now in hiding on account of threats to her life.
She used to be convicted in 2010 of insulting the Prophet Muhammad but was acquitted in October, a ruling that angered many.
Symbol copyright Reuters Image caption Khadim Hussain Rizvi’s celebration led mass protests ultimate month
Mr Rizvi – who the government say used to be taken into “protective custody” – had called on his supporters to carry street protests if he have been arrested.
In October, his birthday party virtually paralysed Pakistan with mass protests that from time to time were violent.
the federal government and the TLP later struck a deal to finish the protests.
It used to be agreed that criminal proceedings could start to place Asia Bibi on a list that would ban her from leaving Pakistan. the federal government also mentioned it could no longer block a evaluation petition filed towards the court docket ruling.
However, the TLP later pledged to renew the protest if Asia Bibi were allowed to leave Pakistan.
The trial stems from an issue she had with a group of ladies in June 2009.
Symbol copyright EPA Symbol caption Asia Bibi’s acquittal sparked protests by way of Islamists
Exhausting-line politicians have steadily sponsored serious punishments, partly as some way of shoring up their enhance base.
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But critics say the laws have regularly been used to precise revenge after private disputes, and that convictions are according to skinny evidence.
The overwhelming majority of these convicted are Muslims or participants of the Ahmadi community who identify themselves as Muslims but are considered heretical via orthodox Islam. for the reason that 1990s rankings of Christians have also been convicted. They make up simply 1.6% of the population.
The Christian neighborhood has been targeted by means of numerous attacks in contemporary years, leaving many feeling vulnerable to a local weather of intolerance.
Seeing That 1990, at least 65 people have reportedly been killed in Pakistan over claims of blasphemy.