According to a government prosecutor, an Anti Terrorism Court (ATC) sentenced a man to death on account of sharing blasphemous content on social media.
On Saturday, ATC Judge Shabir Ahmed announced the sentence for the 30 year old from Bahawalpur.
The accused, a member of the Shia community, was arrested by Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) last year. Hailing from Okara, he posted derogatory content against Sunni religious figures and the Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) and his wives on Facebook.
A case was filed against him in the Multan police station under Section 295-C (use of derogatory remarks, etc., in respect of the Holy Prophet) in addition to Sections 9 and 11w of the Anti-Terrorism Act (related to spreading sectarian hatred).
First Death Sentence Under Cyber Crime Law
This is the first time someone has been sentenced to death under the cyber crime law.
Mashal Khan’s Case
A few months ago a student, Mashal Khan was murdered by a mob in Abdul Wali Khan University Mardan for allegedly posting blasphemous content over social media. The incident sparked widespread outrage in the country, with some calling for blasphemy laws to be amended.
An investigation was subsequently launched into this case probing the matter. The joint investigation team cleared him of all blasphemy-related charges as they concluded their probe.
The government is also keen on tracking down on blasphemy related crimes on social media. Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar called for banning social media in the country if it is required to block blasphemous content, saying
“We will go to any extent even if we have to go to the extent of permanently blocking all such social media websites if they refuse to cooperate.”