Pakistan releases Chinese national charged with blasphemy

The suspect, identified as Tian, is part of a group of Chinese working on a hydropower project in KP

By AP

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The Chinese national pleaded not guilty during an earlier appearance in court. Picture used for illustrative purpose only.
The Chinese national pleaded not guilty during an earlier appearance in court. Picture used for illustrative purpose only.

Published: Fri 28 Apr 2023, 10:40 PM

A Chinese national arrested in Pakistan on charges of blasphemy has been released from a high-security prison after a court granted him bail, a defence lawyer and local police said on Friday.

The suspect, identified only by one name, Tian, was part of a group of Chinese working on the Dasu Dam, the biggest hydropower project in Pakistan. He was accused of blasphemy earlier this month.


Hundreds of residents and labourers in the town of Komela then blocked a key highway and demanded his arrest. They alleged that Tian insulted Islam, a charge he denied.

His lawyer, Atif Khan Jadoon, said Tian was granted bail by a judge in the northwestern city of Abbottabad on Thursday. He was released after depositing a bond of 200,000 rupees ($700), Jadoon said.


It was not immediately clear if Tian would have to remain in Pakistan to face trial or if he would be allowed to go back to China. The Chinese Embassy had earlier said it was looking into his case.

During his detention, Tian was briefly hospitalised after feeling unwell, authorities have said but provided no other details. He pleaded not guilty during an earlier appearance in court and insisted he did not commit blasphemy, according to his lawyer.

Police at one point said they arrested Tian to save him from an attack by angry crowds.


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