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Pakistani Police Officer Kills Man Released From Prison After Allegedly Insulting Islam

A Pakistani policeman has killed a man recently released from prison over blasphemy allegations.

Muhammad Waqas was hacked to death with a cleaver on July 2 in Rahim Yar Khan city, Punjab Province, police said on July 3.

The 21-year-old police officer told investigators after he was arrested that he killed Waqas because "he had committed blasphemy," police spokesman Ahmed Nawaz said.

Waqas faced trial in 2016 over a Facebook post that was allegedly insulting to the Prophet Mohammad, but was acquitted and released from prison last year.

Insulting Islam is punishable by death in Pakistan, although no one has been executed over blasphemy charges.

However, the mere rumor of blasphemy can lead to mob lynching and mass protests.

The blasphemy laws are disproportionately used against religious minorities, including the Christian community.

Critics say accusations are often made to settle personal disputes.

Based on reporting by AFP and Reuters