Pakistan clerics in blasphemy case to face treason charges

Pakistan clerics in blasphemy case to face treason charges
Maulana Fazaur Rehman, center, leader of the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal Alliance waves to his supporters rally against the acquittal of Pakistani Christian woman Asia Bibi, in Karachi, Pakistan, Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018. A Christian woman acquitted after eight years on death row in Pakistan for blasphemy was released but her whereabouts in Islamabad on Thursday remained a closely guarded secret in the wake of demands by radical Islamists that she be publicly executed. (AP Photo/Fareed Khan)

ISLAMABAD  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.