First ever death penalty for blasphemy on social media in Pakistan

06:22 PM | 10 Jun, 2017
First ever death penalty for blasphemy on social media in Pakistan

BAHWALPUR - An Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) on Saturday sentenced a man to death for sharing offensive content about Islam on social media, in a first ever penalty over online blasphemy.

Bahawalpur's ATC Judge Shabir Ahmed announced the sentence for the 30-year-old accused, who belongs to the Shia community, the Dawn reported.

The accused, who hails from Lahore, had allegedly posted derogatory content about prominent Sunni religious figures and wives of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) on Facebook.

He was arrested last year from Bahawalpur by the Counter Terrorism Department (CTD).

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Pakistan is cracking down against blasphemy related crimes on social media with the Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar threatening to block all social media websites with 'blasphemous content' earlier this year.

This is the harshest sentence among other cyber-crime related punishments handed down so far in the country.

Blasphemy has been a contentious issue in the country where people have been murdered over allegations of blasphemy. Earlier this year, a mob in Abdul Wali Khan University Mardan beat up a student, Mashal Khan, to death after accusing him of blasphemy over social media.

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Under Pakistan’s harsh blasphemy laws, anyone accused of insulting God, Islam or other religious personalities can be sentenced to death.