Chinese worker cleared of blasphemy in Pakistan
MUZAFFARABAD, Pakistan (AFP) - Authorities in Pakistan-administered Kashmir on Thursday cleared a Chinese man accused of committing blasphemy by desecrating a Koran, officials said.
Lee Ping, the administration manager of a Chinese consortium building a major hydropower project, was accused on May 17 of throwing the Islamic holy book on the ground, prompting hundreds of workers to attack his company offices.
Blasphemy is a highly sensitive issue in Pakistan, where 97 per cent of the 180 million population are Muslims. Even unproven allegations can spark a violent and sometimes deadly public response.
Police took Mr Lee into protective custody at a secret location after protests erupted at the company offices near Muzaffarabad, the main town of the disputed Himalayan region, but on Thursday he was cleared.