Paper's presses burnt for 'blasphemy' letter

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The Independent Online

Hundreds of Islamic students set fire to the printing works of Pakistan's Frontier Post in Peshawar yesterday, accusing it of publishing a blasphemous letter. On Monday, the government shut the offices for publishing "highly derogatory remarks" against the Prophet Mohamed and the Koran.

Hundreds of Islamic students set fire to the printing works of Pakistan's Frontier Post in Peshawar yesterday, accusing it of publishing a blasphemous letter. On Monday, the government shut the offices for publishing "highly derogatory remarks" against the Prophet Mohamed and the Koran.

The letter, e-mailed to the editor, accused the Prophet of lewd behaviour and victimising Jews. The author is unknown.

The protesters marched through the streets, shouting slogans against the Frontier Post, and "Hang all those who insulted the Prophet". Police in riot gear watched as fire and smoke billowed from the building. witnesses said. But they blocked a crowd of students marching toward the editorial office in a nearby building. Later, police arrested five journalists and registered a blasphemy case against the management. The press watchdog Journalists Without Borders issued a protest.

In Islamic Pakistan, the maximum punishment for blasphemous remarks against Islam, the Koran and the Prophet is death. Human rights groups say the controversial blasphemy law victimises Pakistan's religious minorities.

The English-language daily said in an apology: "It has injured our feelings equally with every Muslim," adding that a complaint had been filed with police against employees suspected of publishing the letter.

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