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Pakistan

Islamists offer bounty to kill Pakistani Christian 'blasphemer'

Posters advertise reward of $63,000 for killing man who fled to Thailand after threats from radical Muslims

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Islamists offer bounty to kill Pakistani Christian 'blasphemer'

Posters offering a reward to kill an exiled Pakistani Christian accused of blasphemy are displayed in Karachi in southern Pakistan. (Photo supplied)

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Posters offering a reward of 10 million rupees (US$62,860) to kill a Pakistani Christian for posting anti-Islam content on social media have appeared in Karachi in southern Pakistan.

“The price of the head of Blasphemer Maloon [cursed] Faraz Pervaiz has been set at one crore [10 million]. The only punishment for insulting the Prophet is beheading,” states the poster emblazoned with a photo of Pervaiz, who lives in Thailand.

Jamaat Ahle Sunnat, a Barelvi sect of Islam, also printed its contact numbers and address on the poster.

“We shared the references of blasphemous content of his videos in several applications to the FIA [Federal Investigation Agency]. Cases have been registered against Faraz, son of Pervaiz Roshan. But the FIA hasn’t acted so far,’ the banner states, referring to blasphemy cases registered against Pervaiz in 2017.

Pervaiz, a human rights activist, is using the poster as the profile picture on his Twitter account.

Last year the father of three moved his family to a secret location outside Bangkok after his location was revealed in a video released on social media that went viral. The video, made by a Pakistani Muslim refugee, called for “every Muslim in this world” to travel to Bangkok and kill Pervaiz.

Pervaiz has been receiving threats since speaking out for minority Christians after the 2013 attack on Joseph Colony of Lahore by a mob that looted and destroyed 116 houses and two churches. He led protests demanding action from the police and ran a blog in which he challenged both the politics and theology of Islam, presented his own interpretations of the Quran and criticized the Prophet Muhammad. 

He fled Pakistan in 2014 after radical Muslims grew enraged by caricatures, statements and videos he and his father, a political leader, posted on various accounts.

The first bounty of $62,000 for Pervaiz was offered in 2015 by the political party Tahreek-e-Labbaik. In 2016, a cleric placed a bounty on his head equal to about $124,000.

In 2016, the Christian asylum seeker reported an attack by four Muslims at a grocery store.

Blasphemy is a serious allegation in deeply conservative Muslim Pakistan.

On Nov. 4, a security guard of the National Bank of Pakistan rallied in Quaidabad city of Punjab province after killing Malik Imran Hanif, his bank manager, for alleged blasphemy.

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