While where every individual fights for his freedom of expression in a country, on Saturday, a minority Shia Muslim man was sentenced to death in Pakistan by an anti-terrorism court for posting blasphemous content on Facebook. This is the first death sentence handed for blasphemy on social media in a country.
Judge Shabir Ahmed of the anti-terrorism court in Punjab province’s Bahawalpur district announced the sentence for 30-year-old, Taimoor Raza.
So far, this is the first time that Pakistan has convicted a person for posting something derogatory on social media.
Last year, complaints were received from his co-workers regarding his blasphemous content on Facebook. According to the Counter Terrorism Department of Punjab Police, Raza was arrested last year for the complaint made.
In Pakistan, where 97% of the population is Muslim, Blasphemy is an extremely sensitive issue. Even, Pakistan’s tough blasphemy law has attracted criticism from various rights groups.
The case, however, perfectly defines the inclusion of government in private sphere of a person, especially social media.
Pakistan last year passed a controversial cybercrime bill (Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act 2016) that proposed strict punishment for cyber crime offences.