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The New Arab Staff

Judge orders investigation into blasphemy allegations against Pakistan Women’s Day organisers

A social media storm sparked calls for violence against the women’s march organisers. [Getty]

Date of publication: 28 March, 2021

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The charge of blasphemy in Pakistan is punishable by death.
A Pakistani judge ordered a probe against the organisers of a Women's Day march over allegations they had been blasphemous, Reuters reported on Friday.

The police order by the judge in the city of Peshwar follows a petition lodged by a group of lawyers who alleged that women part-taking in the march in Islamabad had used slogans and placards that were "un-Islamic and obscene".

Claims included that one banner insulted Prophet Muhammad and his wife.

The police had previously refused to carry out an inquest saying the claims were born out of a fake social media campaign consisting of doctored videos and photos.

"These lies and the outrageous allegations of blasphemous slogans and banners in particular have been definitively debunked many times over," said the organisers of the march, which called on the Pakistani government to protect them and fellow activists after the court order was issued.

Read more: Family of kidnapped Pakistan girl slam authorities' inaction

The social media storm sparked calls for violence against the women’s march organisers, with even the Taliban threatening them.

The charge of blasphemy in Pakistan is punishable by death. Even though no state-sanctioned executions have taken place, those accused of blasphemy have been murdered by vigilantes.

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