Pakistan ‘blasphemy killing’: murdered student ‘devoted to Islam’

Those who knew a Pakistani student who was accused of blasphemy and beaten to death say he was intellectually curious and asked many questions, but openly professed devotion to Islam.

A mob in the northern city of Mardan severely tortured and killed Mashal Khan following a heated debate over religion, witnesses claim. It attracted a crowd of hundreds.

Images of Khan’s university room show posters of communist leaders Che Guevara and Karl Marx hanging on the walls.

He was dragged from there out into the university grounds after a horde of people kicked in his door.

Local reports suggest dozens of students have since been detained and the campus has been closed.

Khan was one of two students alleged to have shared offensive content on social media. The other survived with injuries.

Crimes related to blasphemy are a serious offence in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.

Since 1990, at least 65 people have been killed over allegations of heresy, according to data from local media and a report by the Center for Research and Security Studies.

Tens more convicted of blasphemy are serving time on death row in Pakistani prisons.

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