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Pakistani Police Investigate American Arrested On Blasphemy Charges

Police in the Pakistani capital Islamabad are investigating a man on blasphemy charges.

On December 10, police said Iftikhar Shaikh, a U.S. national of Pakistani origin, is under a four-day police investigation.

Riaz Gondal, a police officer in Islamabad, says they will investigate the case on merit and will present their findings to the court on December 14.

Shaikh was arrested on December 9 after his nephew accused him of using blasphemous words in a book he recently published about the life of Prophet Muhammad.

Sheikh rejected the allegations and says his nephew has fabricated the charges to implicate him.

Under Pakistani law those convicted of insulting Islam or the prophet Mohammad can be sentenced to death.

Human rights defenders are campaigning for scrapping the blasphemy laws first introduced in the 1980s.

Based on reporting by DPA and BBC Urdu

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