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Student Killed By Mob Buried In Pakistan

  • RFE/RL's Radio Mashaal

A university student killed by a mob in northern Pakistan over alleged blasphemy was buried on April 14.

A group of students at the Abdul Wali Khan University in the city of Mardan beat Mashal Khan to death within the university premises on April 13, accusing him of sharing blasphemous content on social media.

Video footage of the attack shows the victim, identified as 23-year-old Mashal, lying on the floor surrounded by men and being beaten with wooden planks.

Khan was buried today in his hometown of Swabi, some 100 kilometers northwest of Pakistan's capital, Islamabad.

"These people have taken the law into their own hands. So the government should investigate why this happened and my son's murder should be part of the investigation, his father, Mohammad Iqbal, told RFE/RL's Radio Mashaal.

"Whenever the topic of religion was discussed, [my son] was [respectful] of the Prophet Muhammad. Since he was a journalism student, he was only criticizing [Pakistan's state] system because he wanted [a fairer society] like the one during the caliphate of Hazrat Omar," Iqbal said.

A Pakistani security official surveys the place where student Mashal Khan was killed by a mob.
A Pakistani security official surveys the place where student Mashal Khan was killed by a mob.

At least 10 suspects were arrested in connection with the attack, local police said.

Blasphemy is a criminal offense in Pakistan and can carry the death penalty.

It is a highly sensitive issue in the Muslim-majority country where at least 65 people have been murdered over blasphemy allegations since 1990, according to the Center for Research and Security Studies.

The government has recently vowed to combat the sharing of blasphemous content on social media.

With additional reporting by Dawn, AP, and Reuters
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