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Blasphemy trial lawyer’s fears

WASHINGTON (CNS): A lawyer for the Pakistani bishops’ conference who has challenged the country’s controversial blasphemy laws has had his life threatened, an archbishop said.

Archbishop Lawrence Saldanha of Lahore, Pakistan, chairman of the bishops’ justice and peace commission, said religious extremists have threatened the life of Khalil Tahir, a lawyer for the Faisalabad Diocese.

Extremists threatened to kill Tahir, his wife and three children. Tahir represents several Christians charged with blasphemy.

‘From what I understand, his wife and children have been moved from their home for their own protection. Mr Khalil chose to stay behind,’ Archbishop Saldanha told Catholic News Service during a July 11 visit to Washington.

‘There has been some backlash against those working against laws that discriminate against Christians and ethnic minorities,’ the archbishop said.

Sources in Pakistan said Tahir’s wife received a phone call from a man identifying himself as Shabir Basra, who said extremists would kill the entire family because of Tahir’s work.

Catholic Church Insurance

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