February 29 in freethought history…

February 29, 1692 – Arrest warrants are issued in Salem, Massachussetts for Sarah Good, Sarah Osborne and the slave woman Tituba on accusations of witchcraft, thus launching the infamous Salem Witch Trials. Ultimately, twenty innocent citizens would be executed, and the lives of countless others ruined or disrupted.

February 29, 2016 – Pakistan executes Malik Mumtaz Hussain Qadri, a former security guard convicted of the 2011 assassination of Salmaan Taseer, governor of Punjab province and a reformer who campaigned against the country’s blasphemy laws. From the time of his arrest, Qadri was cheered by crowds and praised as a hero. His execution sparked minor protests.

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