An anti-terrorism court in Bahawalpur, Pakistan, sentenced to death Saturday a 30 old man for committing blasphemy on Facebook. In Pakistan anyone accused of insulting God, Islam or other religious personalities can be sentenced to death. Taimoor Raza was found guilty of insulting the prophet Muhammad.
The fact occurred during an argument on social media with a counter-terrorism official. Raza was one of the 15 people arrested by the counter-terrorism department last year in Pakistan on accusation of blasphemy. His family belonged to Pakistan’s minority Shia Muslim community. He was charged in multiple articles of the low but initially was eligible for only two years in prison. He would appeal the conviction sustaining he is innocent.
Authorities have asked Twitter and Facebook to help identify worldwide Pakistani users sharing blasphemous material, and have distributed text messages encouraging Pakistanis to report fellow citizens.The government sent messages to millions people with warning about posting “blasphemous” content online. Even a provincial governor was shot and killed by his police guard who accused him of blasphemy after he criticized the law and defended a Christian woman, in 2011. The Human Rights Watch organization in Pakistan is concerned about his case. “Such sentences will embolden those who want to wrongly frame people,” Saroop Ijaz, a lawyer, said. Four people were sentenced to death for blasphemy last year in this country.