Pakistani counter-terrorism court sentenced a man to death for blasphemy on Facebook

Vastavam web: A person who allegedly committed blasphemy on Facebook was sentenced to death by Pakistani counter-terrorism court.The conviction of Taimoor Raza, 30, follows a high-profile crackdown against blasphemy on social media by the government of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.Blasphemy is a highly sensitive topic in Muslim-majority Pakistan, where insulting the Prophet Mohammad is a capital crime for which dozens are sitting on death row.”An anti terrorism court of Bahawalpur has awarded him the death sentence,” Shafiq Qureshi, a public prosecutor in Bahawalpur told It is the first ever death sentence in a case that involves social media.”
Qureshi said Raza was arrested after playing blasphemous and hate speech material on his phone on a bus stop in Bahawalpur, where a counter-terrorism officer arrested him and confiscated his phone. The material obtained from the phone led to Raza’s conviction, he added.Qureshi added that Raza belongs to the minority Shia community and in court he accused of spreading “hate speech” against the Deobani sect, which adheres to a strict school of Sunni Islam.Several other violent incidents linked to blasphemy accusations have alarmed human rights groups and activists in recent months.
Police are currently investigating over 20 students and some faculty members in connection with the killing of Mashal Khan, a student who was beaten to death on April following a dorm debate about religion — an attack that shocked the country.As Raza’s blasphemy conviction was under the counter-terrorism court, he will be able to appeal his sentence in the High Court and later in the Supreme Court.