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Pakistan's blasphemy laws

10 minutes
First broadcast:
Wednesday 27 April 2011

Alan Johnston presents a special essay by Jill McGivering on the social, legal and political controversy surrounding the laws on blasphemy in Pakistan.

Two very senior Pakistani politicians, the former governor of Punjab Salman Taseer, and former minister for minorities Shahbaz Bhatti, were killed earlier this year after raising doubts about these statues.

In a deeply religious - and deeply divided- country, incidents of alleged blasphemy can cause violent unrest as well as public outrage. Jill McGivering has been to Pakistan to investigate a series of alleged abuses of the laws, and finds that public debate on the issue is being stifled by 'an atmosphere of frightened silence'.

  • Assignment: Blasphemy - A Matter of Life and Death

    Assignment: Blasphemy - A Matter of Life and Death

    Jill McGivering investigates why Pakistan's controversial blasphemy laws are a matter of life and death for some people.

    Listen to Assignment


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    From Our Own Correspondent

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