Pakistan arrests teen for blasphemy
Pakistani police have arrested a teenage boy for allegedly blaspheming in an exam, causing controversy yesterday and putting the Muslim country's hardline law under a fresh spotlight.
"Sami Ullah wrote a blasphemous comment in an examination, which examiners reported to police," police investigator Qudrat Shah Lodhi told AFP.
He said the privately educated 17-year-old Muslim apologised to the exam board in the financial capital of Karachi, considered the heart of moderate Pakistan, but the apology was not accepted and the matter reported to police.
"Police arrested the boy in Karachi's North Nazimabad area on January 29 and sent him to jail on judicial remand," Lodhi said.
Human Rights Watch (HRW) urged Pakistan to drop the charges immediately and ensure the teen's safe release from detention.
Police refused to divulge the offending comment in the exam paper, out of fear that they would fall foul of the blasphemy law for repeating it.