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Pakistani Imam Jailed For Hate Speech

A Pakistani antiterrorism court has jailed a prayer leader for five years in prison for making a speech against the Shi’ite minority.

Lahore district prosecutor Shaikh Saeed Ahmed confirmed on May 20 the conviction and sentence given to Maulana Abubakar.

The defendant, who denied the charge, was arrested in February in Punjab Province’s Kasur district.

The Dawn newspaper quoted an unidentified official as saying that 21 people had been sentenced this year to up to eight years in prison for delivering hate speeches.

About 1,000 Shi'ia have been killed in sectarian attacks in majority-Sunni Pakistan during the last two years.

Last week, gunmen opened fire on a bus carrying members of the Shi’ite community in the southern port city of Karachi, killing at least 43 people.

Based on reporting by AFP and