The Government is deeply concerned by the misuse of blasphemy laws which can result in limitations on freedom of expression and often disproportionately affect minority groups. We strongly believe that the death penalty or physical punishment can never be an appropriate or proportionate penalty for blasphemy. Where blasphemy laws do exist we call on states to bring them into line with agreed human rights standards. As an example, I raised my concerns about the misuse of blasphemy laws in Pakistan with the government ministers I met during my visit there last November. We also work in international fora with EU colleagues and at the UN to lobby against laws that criminalise blasphemy.