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Jul 15, 9:03 AM EDT

Christian teenager detained in Pakistan for blasphemy


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ISLAMABAD (AP) -- Pakistani police say a Christian teenager has been detained on blasphemy charges for allegedly using derogatory remarks against Islam's prophet Muhammad.

Umair Ahmed, a police officer in the town of Kharian in eastern Punjab province, said Saturday that the teenager, 16, was booked a day earlier and relocated for his safety. Ahmed said the youth was working at a local hospital.

Under Pakistan's harsh blasphemy laws, anyone accused of insulting God, Islam or other religious figures can be sentenced to death.

Rights organizations say the law is often misused to settle personal scores.

Earlier this year, a university student was lynched in northwestern Pakistan for alleged blasphemy. The charges were later found to be baseless.

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