December 2, 2023

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Pakistan: Anti-terrorism court docket pronounces loss of life sentence to Muslim man over blasphemous WhatsApp put up

2 min read

A Muslim man was convicted and sentenced to loss of life by an anti-terrorism court docket in northwest Pakistan after he confronted an accusation of sharing a blasphemous put up in a WhatsApp group.

In Pakistan, the place the bulk inhabitants is Muslim, blasphemy stays a vastly delicate challenge as even allegations that are unproven can stir mobs and result in violence.

The court docket convicted Syed Muhammad Zeeshan beneath the Prevention of Digital Crimes Act and Anti-Terrorist Act in Peshawar on Friday.

“Accused Syed Muhammad Zeeshan, son of Syed Zakaullah in custody has been convicted and sentenced after being discovered responsible,” learn the court docket order, in line with the AFP.

Zeeshan, who lives within the nation’s northwest metropolis of Mardan, was additionally slapped with a high-quality of Rs1.2 million ($4,300) and given 23 years of rigorous imprisonment. The person has the proper to enchantment towards the court docket order.

Two years in the past, an utility was filed by Muhammad Saeed, who resides in Talagang, Punjab province, with the Federal Investigation Company during which he accused Zeeshan of sharing blasphemous posts in a WhatsApp group, stated Saeed’s counsel Ibrar Hussain whereas talking to the AFP.

The “FIA had confiscated Zeeshan’s cellphone and its forensic examination proved him responsible”, he added. Though the legal guidelines of Pakistan prohibiting blasphemy might carry a possible loss of life sentence, it has by no means been enforced to this point for the crime.

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Though numerous circumstances contain Muslims going through the accusation of blasphemy from Muslims, human rights activists have warned how minorities, like Christians, usually get caught within the crossfire, as folks use blasphemy costs to settle private scores.

As per the Nationwide Fee of Justice and Peace, which is a human rights and authorized support group in Pakistan, 760 folks belonging to minority non secular teams and 774 Muslims have confronted accusations of blasphemy prior to now 20 years. 

(With inputs from businesses)

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