Death sentence for Pak man over sharing ‘blasphemous content’ on social media | world-news | Hindustan Times
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Death sentence for Pak man over sharing ‘blasphemous content’ on social media

The accused had allegedly posted on Facebook derogatory content about prominent Sunni religious figures as well as on Prophet Muhammad and his wives.

world Updated: Jun 11, 2017 16:53 IST
Imtiaz Ahmad
The accused had allegedly posted derogatory content  on Facebook about prominent Sunni religious figures as well as on Prophet Muhammad and his wives.
The accused had allegedly posted derogatory content on Facebook about prominent Sunni religious figures as well as on Prophet Muhammad and his wives. (File picture)

Pakistan's civil society reacted with horror over the decision of an Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) to sentence a man to death for sharing blasphemous content about Islam on social media.

On Saturday, ATC Judge Shabir Ahmed announced the sentence for the 30-year-old accused in Bahawalpur.

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

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

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 deals with whipping up sectarian hatred.

The sentence is the harshest among cybercrime related penalties handed down so far in the country. 

“Let’s hope the case is overturned in a higher court,” remarked journalist Omar Quarishi.

Most observers say the decision to award a death sentence on posts on the social media will have far reaching implications for Pakistan's media freedom.