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Blasphemy laws a problem worldwide, group says.

An organization based in Belgium has issued a report noting that people in many nations continue to run the risk of being imprisoned, fined or even executed for committing blasphemy.

Human Rights Without Frontiers (HRWF), a watchdog group based in Brussels, recently published its annual list of individuals imprisoned for religion-related offenses worldwide. The report listed violations of the right of conscience in 24 countries.

A special section of the report focused on prosecutions for blasphemy. Such efforts were documented in Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tanzania, Tunisia and Turkey.

Blasphemy laws often target atheists and people who do not belong to state-sanctioned religions. Several of the cases documented by HRWF concerned residents of hardline Muslims nations who were accused of offending Islam. Many of the cases involved postings on Facebook that were deemed insulting to that faith.

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Title Annotation:AROUND THE STATES
Publication:Church & State
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:4EUBL
Date:Feb 1, 2014
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