The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom wants to encourage focus “on the real people impacted” by blasphemy laws around the world. The commission released a report last week detailing specific cases, including that of Asia Bibi, a Pakistani Catholic who was accused of blasphemy after a disagreement with her fellow farmhands in 2009. Bibi remains in prison pending an appeal of her death sentence. In Saudi Arabia, authorities detained blogger and activist Raif Badawi in 2012. They charged Badawi, who is Muslim, with apostasy and setting up an internet forum that violated Islamic values. —O.O.
Authorities have arrested a suspect in connection with the 2015 beheading of 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians in Libya. Chief Prosecutor Al-Sadiq al-Sour said the beheading occurred behind a seaside hotel in the coastal city of Sirte. “The individuals involved in the beheading are known to us by name,” al-Sour said, as they launched search operations. He added authorities also learned where the militants buried the bodies. Islamic State (ISIS) released a video online documenting the killings after they happened. Egypt at the time responded with airstrikes against ISIS targets. —O.O.