Pakistanis Demand Release of Governor’s Killer

Posted October 7th, 2011 at 11:15 am (UTC-5)
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Demonstrators are holding rallies throughout Pakistan to demand the release of a police officer who killed a liberal governor.

An anti-terrorism court last week sentenced Mumtaz Qadri to death for killing Punjab province's Governor Salman Taseer earlier this year.

Qadri, who was a member of the governor's security team, said he objected to Taseer's calls to amend Pakistan's blasphemy laws.

On Friday, hundreds of people gathered in Islamabad and other major cities, shouting slogans in support of Qadri.

The police officer's lawyers say their client will appeal the guilty verdict.

Governor Taseer, a staunchly secular and progressive politician, was an outspoken opponent of religious extremism. He publicly led a charge to reform a blasphemy law that set harsh penalties for offenders. He also called for the release of a Christian woman condemned to death for allegedly making derogatory remarks about the Prophet Mohammad.