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Pakistan clerics in blasphemy case to face treason charges

December 1, 2018

FILE - In this Sunday, Nov. 26, 2017 file photo, head of the Pakistani Tehreek-e-Labbaik party chief Khadim Hussain Rizvi gestures during a press conference in Islamabad, Pakistan. A Pakistani minister on Saturday, Dec. 1, 2018 says the detained Islamic clerics who disrupted daily life with rallies across Pakistan following the acquittal of a Christian woman in a blasphemy case will face treason and terrorism charges. (AP Photo/Anjum Naveed, File)

ISLAMABAD (AP) — A Pakistani minister says the detained Islamic clerics who disrupted daily life with rallies across Pakistan following the acquittal of a Christian woman in a blasphemy case will face treason and terrorism charges.

Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry said on Saturday that Tehreek-e-Labbaik party chief Khadim Hussain Rizvi and two other leaders have been booked under treason and terrorism charges.

They were initially arrested under pre-emptive laws last week.

Chaudhry said police arrested Rizvi’s and more than 3000 of his supporters who held violent rallies following the Oct. 31 acquittal of Asia Bibi by the Supreme Court.

Bibi had been on death row since 2010 on charges of insulting Islam’s Prophet Muhammad.

Rizvi and other clerics are accused of inciting supporters and making incendiary remarks against the judiciary and military chief.

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