'Horrible attack' in Pakistan: Mob beats to death and lynches Sri Lankan

& laquo; Horrible attack & raquo; in Pakistan: Crowd beats dead and lynches Sri Lankan

MISE & Agrave; DAY

A Sri Lankan official at a factory in eastern Pakistan was beaten to death and set on fire on Friday by a mob who accused him of blasphemy, local media and officials reported. videos posted on social networks.

Police confirmed to AFP, without further comment, that the lynching took place in Sialkot, about 200 km southeast of the capital Islamabad.

Prime Minister Imran Khan assured that he would monitor the investigation into a “horrible attack” which marks “a day of shame for Pakistan.” law, “he said on Twitter.

Videos posted on Twitter show the victim being beaten by individuals, some of whom shout slogans denouncing blasphemy. Other images then reveal his completely burned body in front of a crowd of several dozen men. & Nbsp;

Many are those who make no effort to hide their faces and even go so far as to take self-portraits in front of the burning body.

Hassan Khawar, spokesman for the Punjab government, assured reporters in Lahore that police have already arrested 50 people.

“The CCTV recordings are scrutinized carefully, as we have been asked to complete the investigation within 48 hours,” he added.

The issue of blasphemy is particularly sensitive in Pakistan, where even unproven allegations of offending Islam can lead to assassinations and lynchings.

Pakistani law, fiercely defended by Islamist parties, provides for the death penalty for anyone found guilty of insulting Islam or the Prophet Muhammad. However, no convicted person of blasphemy has so far been executed.

Opponents of this law accuse it of being used to settle personal disputes or violate the rights of religious minorities.

< p> “Today's incident shows how urgent it is to correct an environment that allows abuse and puts lives at risk,” Amnesty International South Asia wrote on Twitter.

The slogans heard in Sialkot's videos are the same as those used by supporters of the radical Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) party, which in recent years has been behind several anti-blasphemy protests that have paralyzed major Pakistani cities. .

The TLP launched a campaign against France last year, after President Emmanuel Macron defended the right to cartoon in the name of freedom of expression, in the wake of the republication of the prophet's cartoons. Islam by the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo .

On Sunday, thousands of people attacked and burned down a police station in Charsadda, in the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (north-west ), after asking the police to hand over a man accused of burning the Koran.

In June 2017, 23-year-old Mashal Khan was beaten and shot and wounded before being thrown from the second floor of his dormitory and killed. Police later determined that he was innocent of the blasphemy charges against him.

A young Christian and his pregnant wife, accused of desecrating the Koran, were beaten to death in 2014 by a mob who then burned their bodies in the kiln of a brickyard in Punjab.

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