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Fundamentalist religious cleric arrested in Pakistan

Pakistani authorities have arrested the fundamentalist Islamic cleric Khadim Hussain Rizvi whose supporters have held violent rallies against the Supreme Court’s decision to acquit the Christian woman, Asia Bibi in a blasphemy case. 

Supporters of the Islamic cleric and his party the Tehreek-e-Labbaik party (TLP), have responded to his arrest on Friday by vowing to shut major cities in a call for stricter adherence to Pakistan’s blasphemy laws.

Khadim Hussain Rizvi son, claimed that his madrassa (religious school) in the eastern city of Lahore was raided during the night and he was taken away.

After the Supreme Court acquitted Asia Bibi in her blasphemy case, the TLP launched 3 days of protest which resulted with negotiations with the government who agreed to open a review on the court’s decision.

Bibi had been placed on death row since 2010 following accusations that she insulted the Prophet Muhammad. 

TLP have threatened the Supreme court judges and urged their “cooks and servants to kill them”, Reuters reported. 

Bibi's family and lawyers have since attempted to hide from Pakistani authorities and seek asylum fearing they will be killed. 

In a video statement Khadim Hussain Rizvi had previously said, “the whole nation should come out in the field to protect the honour of the Prophet […] There is no other option left now.”