Pak court issues first capital punishment for blasphemy on social media
 Source : News Bharati English  Date : 11-Jun-2017

Islamabad, June 11: A man in Pakistan shared some ‘blasphemous content’ about Islam on social media and in return got capital punishment, in first of such case.

An Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) in Pakistan sentenced a man on Saturday for sharing such derogatory and blasphemous contents about Islam on the social media site, a government prosecutor said.

The judgement was delivered by ATC Judge Shabor Ahmed for the 30-year-old accused in Bhawalpur.

The Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) had arrested the accused, who belonged to the Shia community, last year in Bahawalpur.

The accused, who hailed from Okara, had allegedly posted derogatory content about prominent Sunni religious figures and the Prophet Muhammad and his wives on Facebook.

A case was registered against him on behalf of the State at CTD Multan police station under Section 295-C (use of derogatory remarks, etc., in respect of the Holy Prophet) and Sections 9 and 11w of the Anti-Terrorism Act (which deal with whipping up sectarian hatred) .

The sentence is the harshest among cyber-crime related sentences handed down so far in the country. Pakistan has never executed anyone convicted of blasphemy.

Blasphemy has been a contentious issue in the country where people have been murdered over allegations of sacrilege. 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.

The incident caused an outrage across the country, with calls for the blasphemy law to be amended. The investigation into Mashal’s murder was concluded after a joint investigation team probing the case cleared him of all blasphemy charges.

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.