Owen Bennet-Jones

Blasphemy And The Governor Of Punjab
  • Blasphemy And The Governor Of Punjab

  • On 4 January 2011, millionaire businessman and governor of Punjab Salmaan Taseer was shot to death. He had been leading a campaign to amend Pakistan's blasphemy laws, after an illiterate Christian woman was sentenced to death for blasphemy. Within hours, a Facebook page for the assassin Mumtaz Qadri had over 2000 members. Transferred to jail, Qadri was garlanded with roses by lawyers offering to take his case for free. President Asif Ali Zardari, a friend of Taseer's, didn't go to the funeral for fear of inflaming public opinion. Mosque leaders refused to say funeral prayers for Taseer, and the Interior Minister gave a press conference announcing that he too would kill a blasphemer "with his own hands". Presenter Owen Bennett-Jones has interviewed Taseer's family and friends and the family of the assassin, and secured access to court documents including the killer's confession.

John Dryden is a multi-award-winning writer and director whose radio credits include Pandemic (winner of the 2012 Writers’ Guild of Great Britain Award Best Radio Drama), A Kidnapping (which won Best Debut Performance for actress Jade Matthew at the 2015 BBC Audio Drama Awards), Scenes from a Crime and Tumanbay. He was also named Best Drama Producer at the 2015 Radio Academy Production Awards.

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