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Pakistan police lodge blasphemy case against Christian teen

Pakistan's notoriously broad blasphemy law lands new victim.

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Karachi: Allegedly offensive text messages sent by a Christian teen prompts new blasphemy case in Pakistan. (MADELEINE PRADEL/AFP/Getty Images)

Police in Pakistan have opened a blasphemy case over allegedly offensive text messages sent by 17-year-old Ryan Stanten, who is Christian, according to Agence-France Presse

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The young man in question is now in hiding, along with his family, reported the Associated Press

Police lodged the case -- which under Pakistani law does not charge a person with a crime -- after neighbors attacked his Karachi house, policeman Shahid Hayat told AP on Friday. 

Neighbors said the youth had sent them text messages defaming Islam's Prophet Mohammed and proceeded to destroy his home, said AFP. Police said they filed the case in an attempt to calm the community.

Blasphemy convictions can lead to the death sentence in Pakistan. 

Neighbors said Stanten told them he had forwarded the messages without reading them, according to Hayat's account to AP

Pakistan's tough blasphemy law came under scrutiny several months ago with the high-profile case of a Christian girl accused of desecrating the Koran despite concerns over her mental capacity. Rimsha Masih was jailed for several weeks, prompting international outcry. She was released on bail early last month. 

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/asia-pacific/pakistan/121013/pakistan-police-lodge-blasphemy-case-against-chri