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THE WORLD | IN BRIEF / PAKISTAN

Christians' Blasphemy Convictions Thrown Out

March 23, 2003|From Times Wire Reports

An appeals court has ordered the release of two Christians in eastern Pakistan who were sentenced to life in prison for allegedly insulting Islam's prophet Muhammad, a Christian activist said.

Joseph Francis said brothers Rasheed and Saleem Nazir were convicted three years ago in the town of Pasrur, about 90 miles southwest of Lahore. Police had charged them with blasphemy on the basis of a complaint by a Muslim ice cream vendor who had argued with them, Francis said. The appeals court ruled there was insufficient evidence.

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