Pakistan man exonerated after serving 9 years for blasphemy

Pakistan's supreme court has exonerated a man of blasphemy charges after he served nine years of a life sentence in prison.

A two-judge panel of the court on Friday granted the appeal of Mohammad Mansha for lack of evidence, ruling that Mansha was falsely accused.

According to court records, Mansha was arrested in September 2008 after the imam of a mosque in Bahawalnagar district in Punjab province told authorities that Mansha had desecrated the Quran.

A judge in Punjab convicted Mansha of blasphemy and sent him to prison for life in 2009. His conviction was upheld in 2014 and the supreme court took up the case the same year.

Rights groups say people often exploit Pakistan's harsh blasphemy law to settle scores.