A court in Pakistan has sentenced a Muslim prayer leader and his son to life in jail for blasphemy.

The pair were found guilty in Punjab province of tearing down a poster of a gathering to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. They deny blasphemy.

A Christian leader said this was the first time a jail term had been handed down under the blasphemy law, which carries a mandatory death sentence.

Christian woman Asia Bibi is on death row for allegedly insulting Islam.

The conviction of the Muslim father and son was Pakistan’s first under its blasphemy law since last week’s assassination of Punjab Governor Salman Taseer, who had backed proposed reforms to the legislation.

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