Switzerland condemns Pakistani killing

Switzerland has condemned the assassination of Pakistan’s minister for the defence of minorities who was shot dead in Islamabad on Wednesday morning.

This content was published on March 2, 2011 - 21:43

A statement issued by the Swiss foreign ministry called for the crime to be investigated and the perpetrators to be brought to justice.

The ministry had learned “with consternation” of the killing of Shahbaz Bhatti, and expressed condolences to the Pakistani government and the family of the victim, it said.

“The foreign ministry emphatically condemns this act of brutal violence.”

Bhatti, a Roman Catholic, took up his government post in 2008. Police say his car was sprayed with bullets as he travelled to work through a residential area of the capital. He had already said that he had received death threats for his calls for blasphemy laws to be reformed.

The governor of Punjab, Salman Taseer, was assassinated by one of his bodyguards in January for calling for the same reform.

Under Pakistan’s blasphemy law, insulting Islam incurs the death penalty.

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