Updated March 9th, 2024 at 12:38 IST

Pakistan Court Hands Student Death Sentence For Sharing 'Blasphemous' Texts on WhatsApp

A court in Pakistan has sentenced a 22-year-old student to death after charging him with committing blasphemy over WhatsApp messages.

Reported by: Digital Desk
Pak Student sentenced to death for sharing 'blasphemous' texts on WhatsApp | Image:Unsplash / Representative
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Lahore – A court in Pakistan has sentenced a 22-year-old student to death after charging him with committing blasphemy over WhatsApp messages. According to BBC, the court in Punjab Province accused the student of sharing blasphemous pictures and videos with the intention to outrage the religious feelings of Muslims. Meanwhile, another 17-year-old was sentenced to life as a part of the same case. However, both the students have denied wrongdoings. It is pertinent to know that while Blasphemy is a punishable offence in Pakistan, the court rarely awards death sentences in such cases. Some of the people who have been accused of conducting blasphemy in the past have been lynched in the country before their cases even went on trial.   

According to BBC, the complaint was filed in 2022 by the cybercrime unit of Pakistan's Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) in Lahore. The case was eventually referred to a local court in the city of Gujranwala. In the trial which was held this week, the judges presiding over the case said that the 22-year-old was preparing and sharing photos and videos which contained derogatory words about Prophet Muhammad and his wives. Meanwhile, the court awarded the 17-year-old a life sentence for sharing the problematic materials. 

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Defence lawyers call it a ‘false case’ 

The plaintiff told the court that they received the videos and photos from three different phone numbers. The FIA eventually confirmed the allegations stating that it had examined the plaintiff's phone and established that "obscene material" had been sent to him. Meanwhile, the Defence lawyers argued that the two students were “trapped in a false case”. Shortly after the order, the father of the death-row convict, whose identity has not been disclosed as of now, told BBC that he and his team will file an appeal in the Lahore High Court. During the trial, the court stated that the other student would be facing a life sentence since he is a minor. The laws against blasphemy were expanded in the constitution of Pakistan in the 1980s while the country was under military rule. 

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Published March 9th, 2024 at 12:38 IST