Pakistani Court Executes A Man
A Muslim man was convicted and sentenced to death by an anti-terrorism court in northwest Pakistan after being accused of posting blasphemous content in a WhatsApp group.
Blasphemy is a highly charged issue in Muslim-majority Pakistan, where even unproven accusations can incite mobs and violence.
On Friday, a court in Peshawar convicted Syed Muhammad Zeeshan under the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act and the Anti-Terrorist Act.
“Accused Syed Muhammad Zeeshan, son of Syed Zakaullah in custody, has been found guilty and sentenced”, the court order mentioned.
Zeeshan, a citizen of the city of Mardan in Pakistan’s northwest, was also fined 1.2 million rupees ($4,300) and given a total of 23 years in prison.
He may file an appeal.
According to Saeed’s attorney, Ibrar Hussain, the case started when Muhammad Saeed, a resident of Talagang in Punjab province, filed a report with the Federal Investigation Agency two years ago accusing Zeeshan of posting offensive content in a WhatsApp group.
He said that the FIA had taken Zeeshan’s mobile and its forensic examination had established his guilt.
Although blasphemy is prohibited under Pakistani law, the death penalty has never been used to punish the offense.
Although many cases involve Muslims accusing other Muslims, religious minorities, particularly Christians, have been warned that blasphemy charges are frequently used to settle personal scores.
In the last 20 years, 774 Muslims and 760 members of various minority religious groups in Pakistan have been accused of blasphemy, according to the National Commission of Justice and Peace, a human rights and legal aid organization.
Also read: Research Shows A Tiny Nanoparticle Could Have A Significant Impact On Corneal Transplant Patients