Home/ News / World/  Pakistan's court sentence man to death over WhatsApp blasphemy

A Muslim man was sentenced to death in northwest Pakistan by an anti-terrorism court after being convicted of posting blasphemous content in a WhatsApp group. The accused was also fined in the case with PKR 1.2 million and handed over with imprisonment for 23 years.

"Accused Syed Muhammad Zeeshan, son of Syed Zakaullah in custody has been convicted and sentenced after being found guilty", the court order said, a copy of which was obtained by the news agency AFP.

Zeeshan was charged under the stringent Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act and Anti-Terrorist Act by the court in Peshawar on Friday. He has the right to appeal in the higher court against his conviction.

According to Ibrar Hussain, the legal representative of complainant Muhammad Saeed, who lives in Talagang, a town in Punjab province, a legal case was initiated two years ago when Saeed reported to the Federal Investigation Agency that Zeeshan had shared offensive material related to religion in a WhatsApp group

"FIA had confiscated Zeeshan's cell phone and its forensic examination proved him guilty", he said.

Blasphemy is a very sensitive issue is Muslim majority Pakistan and previously the rumours around the issue have led to mob-violence. Legally, blasphemy laws carry death sentence in Pakistan, but it has never been enforced so far. 

Human rights activists have informed in the past that the issue of blasphemy is also used for the oppression of minorities in the country, especially Christians and also settle personal scores. 

Over the past two decades, the National Commission of Justice and Peace, an organization in Pakistan that provides legal assistance and advocates for human rights, has reported that a total of 1,534 individuals have been charged with blasphemy, with 774 of them being Muslim and the remaining 760 being from different minority religious groups.

With inputs from AFP


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Updated: 26 Mar 2023, 12:03 AM IST
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