HomeWorld NewsPakistan Man Sentenced To Death For Sending Blasphemous Message On WhatsApp Group

Pakistan Man Sentenced To Death For Sending Blasphemous Message On WhatsApp Group

A Muslim man has been sentenced to death by an anti-terrorism court in north west Pakistan after he was accused of posting blasphemous content on a WhatsApp group, as per a report by news agency AFP. 

The court in Peshawar on Friday convicted Syed Muhammad Zeeshan under the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act and Anti-Terrorist Act on Friday, the news agency reported. 

“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 AFP.

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A resident of the north west city of Mardan, Zeeshan was also fined 1.2 million Rupees and handed a total of 23 years of imprisonment. He has the right to appeal. 

The case came to light after Muhammad Saeed, a resident of Talagang in Punjab province filed an application with the Federal Investigation Agency two years ago accusing Zeeshan of posting blasphemous content in a WhatsApp group, Saeed’s counsel Ibrar Hussain told AFP.

The “FIA had confiscated Zeeshan’s cell-phone and its forensic examination proved him guilty”, he said.

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Blasphemy is a majorly sensitive issue in Pakistan where even unproven allegations can attract mob and violence. 

While the country’s laws prohibiting blasphemy can carry a potential death sentence, so far it has never been enforced for the crime.

Often, many cases involve Muslims accusing fellow Muslims, but rights activists have warned that religious minorities — particularly Christians — are often caught in the crossfire, with blasphemy charges used to settle personal scores.

As per the National Commission of Justice and Peace, a human rights and legal aid groups in Pakistan, 774 Muslims and 760 members of various minority religious groups were accused of blasphemy in the last 20 years.

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