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World News

Christian couple beaten to death in Pakistan

Police have only said the couple were called Shama and Shehzad.

They were murdered by the mob and their bodies then burnt in the town of Kot Radha Kishan in Punjab province.

Pakistani official Bin Yameen told the AFP news agency: "Yesterday an incident of desecration of the holy Koran took place in the area and today the mob first beat the couple and later set their bodies on fire at a brick kiln."

Police tried to save the couple but when they intervened the crowd attacked them too.

It's reported that an announcement was made from local mosque loud speakers that the couple had burned pages of the Quran.

Claims of blasphemy are often used to settle personal scores against Christians by Muslims.

Th British Pakistani Christian Association has urged the UK government to put pressure on the county's politicians to ensure the safety of other Christians in the wake of the attack.

Speaking on Premier's 'News Hour' Wilson Chowdhry, BPCA said: "They only recently gave 225 million pounds for holistic educational reform. I believe that should be used as a lever to promote cultural change or the laws in Pakistan."

Amnesty International's Deputy Asia Pacific Director David Griffiths said: "This vicious mob killing is just the latest manifestation of the threat of vigilante violence which anyone can face in Pakistan after a blasphemy accusation.

"Those responsible must be brought to justice and the Pakistani authorities have to ensure at-risk communities are proactively given the protection they need.

"This type of violence is fuelled by Pakistan's repressive blasphemy laws, which add to the climate of fear for religious minorities.

"A mere accusation of blasphemy is often enough to put a person and their wider community in danger. In this case, a mob appears to have played judge, jury and executioner."

Wilson Chowdhry, British Pakistani Christian Association:

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