At least 89 citizens have been murdered in extrajudicial killings related to blasphemy cases since Pakistan’s inception, according to a report from the Centre for Research and Security Studies (CRSS) in Islamabad.
From 1947 to 2021, at least 18 women and 71 men have been killed by mob rule following accusations of blasphemy, without due process or a fair trial. The report collected data from secondary sources, including news papers and law enforcement reports, to tally the number of victims, perpetrators, charges, and the role of the authorities.
Between 2011 to 2021, at least 1,287 citizens across the country were accused of committing blasphemy, with the report indicated that the actual number is likely higher as not all blasphemy cases are reported. Most of the cases, approximately 70 per cent, occurred in Punjab. The remaining instances primarily occurred in Sindh, where 177 accusations were reported during the ten year period, and Islamabad, where 55 cases were reported during the same time.
Instated during the British colonial era, Pakistan’s blasphemy law has divided the court of public opinion, as reported in a report from Dawn, with fierce proponents and opponents to the law on both sides.
In a recent case earlier this month, a young woman was sentenced to death after the court found that she shared blasphemous material on social media.