Pakistani Court Sentences Man to 13 Years of Jail for Hate Speech On Facebook

Pakistani anti-terrorism court has sentenced a man to 13 years of imprisonment after he posted, what is deemed to be hate speech, on Facebook. Rights activists have shown concern whether the ruling is justified as the case should have been conducted under a normal court.

The person deemed guilty, Saqlain Haider, is 32 years old and used to run a small hotel in Chiniot, a district South of Islamabad. The culprit was also fined Rs 250,000 ($2,300) for “posting hateful material against companions of the Prophet of Islam on Facebook”. The information was revealed by an officer of the Counter Terrorism Department on the condition of anonymity.

According to the sources, the convict was arrested on 27th of October after locals of the area complained about his activities. He was charged for “spreading sectarian hatred under various clauses of the anti-terrorism act”, said another official of the Counter Terrorism Department. Saqlain was bailed on 28th but was arrested again on the 21st of November after the court’s final verdict.

Saqlain Haider was sentenced to 13 years in prison and Rs 250,000 for “posting hateful material against companions of the Prophet of Islam on Facebook”

Similar activities were indeed tolerated a few years ago, but the courts have become far more strict since the inception of the National Action Plan to counter terrorism after the tragic attack on the Army Public School in Peshawar.

While Saqlain, a Shia Muslim, was convicted for spreading hatred and disrespecting the companions of the Prophet, there have been other similar instances related to followers of other sects. In May, an Imam from a mosque in Kasur was sentenced for 5 years in prison for inciting hatred against a local Shia community. In October, a former leader of a banned sectarian party was put in jail for six months as well.

A human rights group, Bytes for All, said it had not been able to get much info on Saqlain’s case. The group stated that “We are extremely concerned that an anti-terrorism court has been used to hear a case apparently related to online speech rather than to any violent activities”. A spokesperson of the organisation said that Pakistani Taliban and sectarian groups like Lashkar-e-Jhangvi have been inciting hatred on the social networks.

This is the first case of conviction even though there have been multiple blasphemy cases brought up against social media users

Pakistan Telecommunication Authority has blocked hundreds of militant and sectarian websites and social media accounts but they have not been able to catch the culprits and the same people keep on working under different names. Of course the major problem here is locating the culprits which is very difficult without detailed information from the social media websites and the accuracy of the information.

Bytes for All states that this is the first case of conviction even though there have been multiple blasphemy cases brought up against social media users. Blasphemy is a very sensitive issue in Pakistan. Not too long ago, a factory was torched after one of its employees was accused of the charge.

Indeed, there is a need for educating the population to go and file police complaints instead of taking matters in their own hands, which often causes tragic incidents where the real culprits with hidden agendas go unnoticed.

via IBNLive

He is the Chief Content Officer at ProPakistani. Reach out at aadil.s[at]

  • Eik tou yeh BC “human rights group”.
    Hate speech is hate speech and the route cause of violent activities. Why the fc*k do you feel concerned?

      • U tell me bro….jab ik kafir nay prophet k against koch bola to hazrat ali os ko katal karnay k lie agay aye or thek osi wakat os kafir nay hazrat ali k muh pay thok dia….hazrat ali nay ye keh k osay chor dia k ton nay meray muh pay thoka is lie toje bakhash dia..!! Bhai meray jo iman walay hain wo prophet k against koch ni son saktay…ab apka iman itna mazbot ni jo ab samaj sako…so plz be quite..!!

        • Aapne Apne Rusool ki baat ziada manni ha k Un k Sahaba ki ? jab k Rusool ne jo kia or kaha wo Allah ki marzi se tha.

          • Quran main allah nay saf likha ha …k jis nay meray rasol ki farmabardari ki asal main os nay meri farmabardari ki…..or tamam sahaba ikram nabi k farmabardad or ata-at gozar thay jis nay sahaba ki farmabardari ki os nay nabi ki farmabardari ki or nabi ki farmabardari allah ki farmabardari ha…..or nabi nay farmaya k meray sahaba sitaron ko manind hain …tom jis k pichay chalo gay rah pao… koi b insan sahaba ko follow karnay say rah-e-rast say hat nai sakta ….!!!

        • THAT was in WAR….Apny ilam ko pehly mazboot kr loO…& U r un-intentionally sayng that Hazrat Ali Nay Us shaks ko chor diya…. True story is tottly Different…. Yeh Apky iman ki kamzoori hy keh Ap kisi ko Apny kirdar apni guftar sy kahil nahi kr sakty…Hamara iman aysy forums py to nazr ata hy But Real life main nahi…

          • Hahahahah …bhai meri “THAT is not in WAR” i am 100% sure what i said…!! Or main unintentionally nai keh ra ….intentionally keh raon k harat ali nay os ko chor dia ye keh kar k agar main nay tomhain mar dia to is main mera badla b shamil ho ga ……And thanks for the complement… Huh..!!

      • companions are knows as Sahaba Rasool & don’t try to mixup things as now & 1400 years ago, & it was Prophet Muhammad(pbuh) he done whatever was/is/will remain 100% right.. now come to present day, court did show some mercy, as this pig needs to be hanged, as sunni we don’t insult any sect in religion which is actually not allow to have any (sect) as muslim you just need to be MUSLIM, not any other shia sunni salafi bla bla list goes on..sunni means (follow the sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) ) & can not even think about insulting any of sahabi rasool or anyone from those time’s except that moron yazeed who will be paying for what he have done as ALLAH(SWT) is the maker & he knows all, whatever happen that time it is Allah(swt) will do the justice to each & every single living thing including all human’s.

        • “actually not allow to have any (sect) as muslim you just need to be MUSLIM” Your word… then U say “As Sunni”… Bro WE r Just Muslims… R Muslims dont follow Sunnat ?

          • in a way yes you are right, as Muslims should be just as Muslim neither Sunni or Shia & there sub sects & the thing i mentioned was Respect for all the Sahaba is must, now i rephrase my comment as those who call themselve Sunni (means following the sunnah) well should’nt use it, better of with just Muslim (but atleast in there way of practicing they don’t dare to abuse or even think any bad towards any Sahaba Rasool) so that’s the actual thing i was trying mention when i use the word “Sunni” as in some other Sect (again which shouldn’t be allowed in first place) they practice not the complete Sunnah (sunnat), i prefer not to say or get in detail of other sect, i hope you get the point in which i am trying to direct, may Allah guide us all.

  • I am Shia Muslim and I am happy about this decision. Nobody can harm sentiments of other sects or religions publicly. People must undestand that every other man has his own belief and he has right to practice his sect or religion freely. But spreading hate towards contemperary beleives on social media is something need to be punished very strictly.

    • Do you also Disagree with what he post over social media or just condemn the act of posting?

      • I don’t know what he posted but my point is different school of thoughts hold different opinions, so it will better to have it in your mind if it conflicts and hurt others rather than discussing and posting publicly. To agree or disagree is something else which should also not be discussed or posted on public platform. God Bless all

        • Zafar, if only we had more people with your thoughts, Pakistan and the Ummah would be a superpower..

          • Emotions of love and peace are natural in every soul. Hate and voilance always inherited by societies. Stop calling each other kafir. Khuda behtar jaan’nay wala hai.

            • WaH … i think root cause of these incident r some jahil Zakir & Molvies… i have Sunni Friends i have Shia friends even Deobandi wahabi… They r all good … we all should

              • Molvi ki roti ka swaal hai. jab tak hum myn dooriyan hyn tab tak unki roti chalti rahay gi.

                • Earlier, you were logical but in your above reply you only quoted ‘Molvi’ and forget about the ‘Zakir’ part and your logics.

    • I agree with u…everyone has right to hold their believes…and should respect other’s sentiments.

  • 13 years is too much for something that’s just posted on facebook, they’re makign this much more of a bigger deal than it has to be and foreign involvement will happen no doubt lol.

    • If you are asking, you do not deserve it. If you know the name TOR, you should be able to explore it as well. We hand over as a## to Google in garb of Android yet do not want any government surveillance at all. hmm. woo hooo

      • As I know after connecting with TOR, our requests are served using multiple nodes in between. Any surveillance body can not know who is requesting what from who. Thats why some contries or organizations block TOR ports or use any other method to block TOR.

        and TOR is extremely slow.
        you can add to it if you know more

        • If you don’t know how to change the ports and/or nodes then you don’t have the right to use TOR.
          IMO, of course :)

    • If you’re asking in this case’s context, then no. This user posted something on facebook which got him in trouble. Even if he could masquerade his IP using Tor or VPN, he can still be identified by his friends list and IP history which facebook maintains for government’s data requests.

  • The decision of court being set apart, is it necessary to use a language (of this blog) depicting that you are a non-Muslim and the target audience is non-Muslim as well and the writer is totally ignorant of the religion in Islam. This is what in punjabi we call as “dosro ka mo lal dekh kay apny mo pay chaprain marna”. For heavens sake, stop coping Holly wood English. I know @aamir is a gunine person and writer, this goes for the karaye kay likhari he is employing

      • brother … this is the problem of this blasted country… nothing ever goes correct here … everything is tainted and twisted.
        now the govt are trying to whip up sectarian hatred instead of building bridges. simply disgusting….

        pathetic losers can’t catch terrorists shooting people at will but can imprison a person venting on a stupid platform like fb … the irony is strong !

        • you should be careful writing anything about Pakistan, your words above in the first country shows your mental state. have disagreement but keep element of respect in it, and think twice before writing bad about this country which has given you identity for what you are today regardless of issues you may see as no place is perfect, you may have been living somewhere in a refugee camp or in a war zone which could have been far worst than sitting at the comfort of your home and passing such comments.

          • doesn’t really seem like much of a difference from a refugee camp …. does it ? failing economy … people fighting and killing over petty issues … stupid extremist religious reforms and worst of all , blind sheep following and tolerating all this …
            with the pace we’re going down under … pretty sure this country will become worse than a refugee camp in a few decades..

      • @disqus_rPqg6NlmUn:disqus with a French DP, lamenting about Pakistan and abusing all people around you… Respect this country, respect the people.. stop you worshiping of the west.. #Burger #DrawingRoomExperts

        • yea … and blame me for the sectarian divide too … i guess im the mastermind behind that one too …
          blind sheep

          • those who disagree with U…. U call them sheep and insult them.
            Yes All r Blind Sheep …U r all knowing Awaken…
            Stop acting Like a Bitch…

            • i insult them AFTER they behave like imbeciles AND insult and berate ME first …
              to be honest … i expected a white knight like u to show up around here … so no surprises there ..
              BUT , it looks like someone else is taking things wayy too seriously …
              talk about being a bitch :D

        • Jahil k samnay kabhi behas na karo..kyu k pehly wo behas karay ga ..phr apnii haar dekh k dushman bn jaye ga..” Hazrat Ali

  • “genuine person and writer” allowing all this wrong stuff through “kiraey kay likhari?”, are you part of that clan too?

    • A sunni imam was also imprisoned for 5 five years if you read the whole article you’ll see that too.

      • just to clarify SHIA MAN got 13 yrs for posting on social media while our islami bhai sunni imam got served for PHYSICALLY uttering hate speech from a Masjid ka speaker which is more severe crime than the former. or am i wrong?

        • Nothing can be said with authority since we don’t know what the imam said or what were the exact words posted on Facebook or whether it was just Facebook or was he saying similar things in public. Residents of the area complained about both people so only they know what’s the truth.

          • WRONG on all accounts. Islami bhai mulla was inciting for violence against Ahmedi & Shia minorities while the chap on FB posted some infuriating statuses. I’ll rest my case here now.

            • As I said before, we dont know what both guys did “exactly” so commenting on it is futile and taking somebody’s side or going against someone would be biased.

  • atleast pakistani courts have done something right ! as no one should be allowed to bash the religion, there are rules to be follow, why the hell this pig needs to post again sahaba rasool, EXCELLENT work done by court, me nither mulla neither molvi, just a simple muslims who pray alhamdulillah 5 times a day regularly & respect all sahaba rasool.

  • why shouldn’t Pakistani courts do something to banned the F***KING Facebook rather than making judgement on individuals view point

    • Yeah lets do that. After facebook, lets ban paper, pen, computers, cameras, and everything that can be used to write and distribute unlawful content. /s

  • Where does it show that the writer is not a muslim? Or is being neutral in writing considered as being a non-muslim?

  • close