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Blasphemy is an incendiary charge in Muslim-majority Pakistan, where even unproven allegations of insulting Islam and its Prophet Mohammed can provoke death at the hands of vigilantes.

Blasphemy, which is defined as the act or offence of speaking sacrilegiously about God or sacred things, has a history of provoking violence in Pakistan.

Since 1990, at least 85 people have been murdered in relation to blasphemy allegations, according to local media and researchers.

Those killed include members of religious minorities, prominent politicians, students, clerics and the mentally ill. They have been burned to death, hanged by mobs, shot dead in courtrooms and hacked to death on the side of the road, among other forms of attack.

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