Pakistan Blasphemy Lawyer Murdered

Gunmen on Wednesday shot and killed a prominent human rights lawyer in Pakistan for defending a professor who was accused of blasphemy. The murder of Rashid Rehman in Multan was the first time a lawyer was killed for taking on such a case. He was defending Junaid Hafeez, who was accused by student groups of blasphemous speech against the Prophet Mohammed last year, and had been unable to find a lawyer until Rehman. The penalty for blasphemy in majority-Muslim Pakistan is death. In the past, some of those accused have been lynched or left in jail because there were no lawyers willing to defend them. Judges get attacked for acquitting blasphemy defendants and two politicians were shot dead for suggesting it was time to reform the law. A junior lawyer and assistant were wounded in the shooting.