A Pakistani counter-terrorism court has sentenced to death a man who allegedly committed blasphemy on Facebook, a government prosecutor said on Sunday, the first time someone has been handed the death penalty for blaspheming on social media.
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 Pakistan, where insulting the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) is a capital crime for which dozens are sitting on death row. Even mere accusations are enough to spark mass uproar and mob justice.
Shafiq Qureshi, public prosecutor in Bahawalpur, about 500km south of provincial capital Lahore, said Raza was convicted for allegedly making derogatory remarks against Prophet Mohammad (PBUH), his wives and companions.
“An anti-terrorism court in Bahawalpur has awarded him the death sentence,” Qureshi told Reuters.