Sunday, February 28, 2016

Pakistan Hangs Islamist Who Killed Blasphemy Reform Governor

Pakistan Hangs Islamist Who Killed Blasphemy Reform Governor: Police

World | Agence France-Presse | Updated: February 29, 2016Pakistan Hangs Islamist Who Killed Blasphemy Reform Governor: Police
A prison official confirmed the execution of Qadri, who killed Punjab governor Salman Taseer in 2011. (Representational Image)
ISLAMABAD:  Pakistan today hanged the assassin of Salman Taseer who sought reform of the country's blasphemy law, officials and supporters told AFP, saying Mumtaz Qadri had been executed at a prison in Rawalpindi.

"I can confirm that Qadri was hanged in Adialia jail early Monday morning," senior local police official Sajjid Gondal told AFP.

A prison official confirmed the execution of Qadri, a former police bodyguard who killed liberal Punjab governor Salman Taseer in 2011.

Dozens of Rangers and police in riot gear as well as ambulances were stationed outside Qadri's home in the city earlier today, an AFP reporter there said, blocking the street and refusing to allow people to enter.

Cries could be heard from inside the house as around 20 people gathered, apparently family members, and mosques could be heard broadcasting news of the execution.

"We have beefed up security in Rawalpindi to maintain law and order and to deal with any untoward situation," Gondal said.

He said the hanging took place after a final meeting between Qadri and his family late Sunday, and that the body had been sent to his relatives.

Qadri shot Taseer 28 times in broad daylight in an upscale market in the capital Islamabad.

He later admitted the killing, saying he objected to the politician's calls to reform Pakistan's controversial blasphemy laws. Rights groups say these are frequently used to pursue vendettas, particularly against religious minorities.

Taseer had also been vocal in his support of Asia Bibi, a Christian woman who has been on death row since 2010 after being found guilty of insulting the Prophet Mohammed.

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