Monday, June 12, 2017

In A First, Pakistan Imposes Death Sentence For Online Blasphemy

As reported by the Hindustan Times and The Sun, for the first time a Pakistani court has handed down a death sentence for blasphemy disseminated on social media. On Saturday, an Anti-Terrorism Court sentenced a 30-year old Shia Muslim who posted derogatory remarks about Sunni religious figures as well as about the Prophet Muhammad on Facebook.  Apparently the defendant engaged in a religious debate on Facebook and the person on the other side turned out to be a counter-terrorism agent. Defendant was charged under Pakistan Penal Code Section 295-C (use of derogatory remarks in respect of the Holy Prophet) and Sections 9 and 11W of the Anti-Terrorism Act (inciting sectarian hatred).