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British man sentenced to death in Pakistan 'barely lucid'

A British pensioner sentenced to death in Pakistan for blasphemy is in urgent need of mental health treatment, legal charity Reprieve has said. Lawyers for Mohammed Asghar told the charity he appeared "pale, dehydrated, shaking and barely lucid."

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Blasphemy accusations 'on the rise' in Pakistan

Mohammad Ashgar is being held in Rawalpindi's Adiala Jail. Credit: REUTERS/Faisal Mahmood

Accusations of blasphemy are surging in Pakistan, according to an Islamabad-based think-tank, the Center for Research and Security Studies. The report comes as Pakistan has handed a death sentence for blasphemy to Mohammad Ashgar, a Briton with a history of mental health problems.

Many analysts see the blasphemy claims as score-settling or a front for property grabs. The charges are hard to fight because the law does not define what is blasphemous and presenting the evidence can sometimes itself be considered a fresh infringement.

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