Pakistan

LAHORE – A local court sentenced a man to death for committing blasphemy on WhatsApp here on Friday in the provincial capital.

The accused, Nadeem James, was arrested in July last year after his Muslim friend Yasir Bashir complained to the police that he received a poem on the messaging app that was derogatory toward the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and other holy figures, reports Tribune.

“James was handed a death sentence by the court on blasphemy charges,” defence lawyer Anjum Wakeel told foreign news agency.

“My client will appeal the sentence in the high court as he has been framed by his friend who was annoyed over James’ affair with a Muslim girl,” Wakeel said.

He said the trial was held inside a prison due to security reasons after local Muslim clerics had threatened James and his family. Court officials confirmed the sentence.

James was one among 15 people arrested by the counter-terrorism department last year, accused of blasphemy, according to the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan.