Pakistan, in a first, has awarded death sentence to a man over blasphemy on social media. Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) on Saturday convicted a 30-year-old man for spreading blasphemous content about Islam on Facebook and given capital punishment.
The Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) of Pakistan had last year arrested the accused, a Shia Muslim, who hails from Okara for allegedly posting derogatory content about prominent Muslim figures and Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) 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 was the harshest among cyber-crime related sentences given so far in Pakistan. The Muslim country had so far never executed anyone guilty 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.
In order to crack down on blasphemous content on social media, the Interior Minister of Pakistan Chaudhry Nisar has threatened to block all social media websites whichever allow such content.