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ICC Note:

Asif Stephen, a Christian teen from Pakistan, has become the fourth Christian teenager to be arrested on charges of violating the country’s notorious blasphemy laws. According to reports, Stephen was accused of burning a Quran before being attacked by a mob and arrested by police. Stephen’s parents claim the blasphemy accusation is false and that it was lodged by a business rival seeking to steal Stephen’s business collecting recyclables at a Muslim shrine. False accusations of blasphemy in Pakistan are common and often motivated by score settling or religious hatred. 

08/25/2017 Pakistan (Trunews) – A fourth Christian teenager has been arrested in Pakistan on charges of violating blasphemy law after he allegedly burnt a Koran, the British Pakistani Christian Association reported on Tuesday. The country is very dangerous for Christians.

Breitbart News reports that sixteen-year-old Asif Stephen claims he was accosted by a man named Muhammed Nawaz while attending a local bazaar. The man accused him of stealing from a donation box and consequently began to beat him.

After beating the boy, Nawaz allegedly called a local imam, a fundamentalist named Qari Rana Rashid Razv, who then claimed that in addition to stealing, the boy had burnt a Koran. Razv, who reportedly has a history of preaching hatred towards minority Christians, then joined Nawaz at the scene and began violently beating Stephen.

A passer-by then called the police, who, instead of protecting the teenager from his attackers, arrested and booked him into prison on blasphemy charges.

However, within an hour of being booked in, Razv and a mob of more than 300 Muslim fundamentalists surrounded the prison, calling for a public lynching of Stephen.

As the mob overwhelmed local police, Stephen was removed from his cell and handed over to the mob, who consequently beat him until reinforcement officers stepped in to calm the situation.

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