Pakistani Court Frees 20 People Suspected of Burning Christians Alive in Industrial Kiln for ‘Blasphemy’

LAHORE, Pakistan (AP) – A Pakistani court has acquitted twenty people suspected of involvement in the lynching and burning alive of a Christian couple accused of blasphemy in 2014.

Shahzad Masih, 26, and Shama Shahzad, 24, brick factory workers and parents of three, were burned alive in an industrial kiln by a mob incited by accusations that the couple desecrated the Qu’ran in the town of Kot Radha Kishan.

Police arrested scores of villagers and a court in November 2016 sentenced five men to death while ten others were given varying jail terms.

Prosecutor Abdur Rauf says the court Saturday acquitted twenty suspects indicted in the case at a later stage.

Blasphemy is a sensitive issue in Pakistan and a mere allegation can often prompt mob violence.

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