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Blasphemy laws in Pakistan

EDM (Early Day Motion) 106: tabled on 25 May 2021

Tabled in the 2021-22 session.

This motion has been signed by 7 Members. It has not yet had any amendments submitted.

Motion text

That this House notes with concern the Pakistani Government’s recent public commitment to maintaining the country’s blasphemy laws; expresses disappointment at the Pakistani Government’s dismissal of evidence of the misuse of these laws against religious minorities; notes that false accusations of blasphemy are made with impunity and that Pakistan’s own Supreme Court has observed the majority of blasphemy cases are based on false accusations stemming from personal or family vendettas; acknowledges that Pakistan’s religious and belief minorities are disproportionately affected, with Pakistan’s Christian’s making up just 1.6 per cent of the country’s population but representing more than 15 per cent of those charged with blasphemy; is concerned by Amnesty International’s reports of an alarming uptick in blasphemy accusations across Pakistan; denounces the vigilante violence that blasphemy accusations often incite; calls on the Governments of Pakistan, and the seven other countries in which blasphemy convictions carry death sentences, to stop the misuse of these laws; urges the Pakistani Government to release those languishing in prison held on unsubstantiated charges, including Christians Shagufta Kausar and Shafqat Emmanuel held since 2014 for allegedly sending blasphemous text messages; and further calls on the UK Government to follow the European Parliament’s lead in re-examining trade relations with Pakistan due to that country's human rights record.