PAKISTAN: MAN GETS DEATH SENTENCE OVER BLASPHEMOUS CONTENT ON WHATSAPP
March 27, 2023:
A Muslim man in Pakistan has been awarded a death sentence over blasphemous content on a WhatsApp group. He was convicted under the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act and Anti-Terrorist Act by the court in Peshawar on March 24, 2023. (Source: India today, 26/03/2023)
The convict, identified as Syed Muhammad Zeeshan, has the right to appeal against the court's conviction order on the highly-sensitive issue of blasphemy in Pakistan.
"Accused Syed Muhammad Zeeshan, son of Syed Zakaullah in custody has been convicted and sentenced after being found guilty", the court order said, a copy of which was obtained by AFP.
Zeeshan, who is a resident of the northwest city of Mardan, was also fined 1.2 million rupees ($4,300) and handed a total of 23 years imprisonment. His counsel told AFP that a case was initiated after Muhammad Saeed, a resident of Talagang in Punjab province, filed an application with the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) two years ago accusing Zeeshan of posting blasphemous content on a WhatsApp group.
"FIA had confiscated Zeeshan's cell phone and its forensic examination proved him guilty", he said.
According to the National Commission of Justice and Peace, a human rights and legal aid group in Pakistan, 774 Muslims and 760 members of various minority religious groups have been accused of blasphemy in the last 20 years.