Shia man in Pakistan gets death sentence for blasphemous content on Facebook

This is the first capital punishment handed down for blasphemy on social media in the country.

By: PTI | Lahore | Published:June 12, 2017 2:14 pm

A man belonging to the minority Shia community in Pakistan has been sentenced to death by an anti-terrorism court for posting blasphemous content on Facebook, the first capital punishment handed down for blasphemy on social media in the country. The sentence is the harshest among cyber-crime related sentences handed down so far in the country. Pakistan has never executed anyone convicted of blasphemy. Judge Shabir Ahmed of the Anti-Terrorism Court in Punjab province’s Bahawalpur district announced the sentence for 30-year-old Taimoor Raza on Saturday after holding him guilty of posting derogatory content on Facebook.

According to the Counter Terrorism Department of Punjab Police, Raza, who hails from Okara, some 200 km from Lahore, was arrested last year at Bahawalpur following complaints by his co-workers that he had shared blasphemous content on Facebook. Blasphemy is an extremely sensitive issue in Pakistan where 97 per cent of the population is Muslim. Pakistan’s tough blasphemy law has attracted criticism from rights groups, who say they are frequently misused to settle personal scores. Pakistan last year passed a controversial cyber crime bill (Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act 2016) that proposed strict punishment for cyber crime offences.

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  1. E
    Ex
    Jun 12, 2017 at 6:46 pm
    re " stan’s tough blasphemy law has attracted criticism from rights groups, who say they are frequently misused to settle personal scores." Either "law has" should be "laws have" or "they are" should be "it is" to make this sentence grammatically correct. Having no more information on this report, and uming it to be true, it is mind-bogg to know that the laws of a current-day government include the power to invoke a death sentence over words. However, that a situation in stan is being reported in an Indian news source suggests it should be verified elsewhere.
    Reply
    1. E
      Ex
      Jun 12, 2017 at 6:50 pm
      Your software is defective. Several words were wrongly truncated in my input.
      Reply
    2. R
      Ranjit
      Jun 12, 2017 at 3:49 pm
      Blasphemy definition should be changed. Speaking against Islam is crime, but teasing other religious sentiments are not for Islamic preachers.
      Reply
      1. S
        SUKUMAR BHATTACHARYA
        Jun 12, 2017 at 3:30 pm
        Banana country, banana law, banana judiciary.
        Reply
        1. R
          Raj Parwani
          Jun 12, 2017 at 9:03 pm
          Banana poster, which is you. There are blasphemy laws in almost every country of the world, you are just and uneducated fellow.
          Reply
          1. S
            sbatra
            Jun 14, 2017 at 10:36 am
            Please list the "every country". Outrageous country and outrageous comment.