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American citizen accused of blasphemy shot dead in Pakistani courtroom


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Shawn M. Carter

July 31 2020

An American citizen accused of violating Pakistani blasphemy laws was shot and killed in court.

Tahir Ahmad Naseem, 57, had been on trial at the Peshawar Judicial Complex Peshawar on charges that he had claimed to be a prophet, when he was shot six times. The shooter was identified by authorities asa local 19-year-old man named “Faisal.”

The United States urged Pakistan Thursday to overhaul the harsh law, which critics say often persecutes members of religious minorities, according to the New York Times.

Naseem had been lured to Pakistan from Illinois by people who wanted to entrap him using Pakistan's blasphemy laws, according to the State Department. Conular officers had been working with Naseem and his family since he was detained there in 2018.


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