Pak Student Sentenced To Death For "Blasphemy" Over WhatsApp Messages

A 22-year-old student in Pakistan was sentenced to death over photos and videos that contained derogatory words about Prophet Muhammad.

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Blasphemy is punishable by death in Pakistan (Representational)

New Delhi:

A 22-year-old student in Pakistan has been sentenced to death on charges of blasphemy over Whatsapp messages, BBC reported on Friday.

In the ruling this week, a court in Pakistan's Punjab province said that the student was sentenced to death over photos and videos that contained derogatory words about Prophet Muhammad.

Another student, 17, was sentenced to life imprisonment instead of the death penalty because he is a minor, BBC reported.

Blasphemy is punishable by death in Pakistan. However, no one has so far been executed by the state for it, but numerous accused have been lynched by outraged mobs.

The action against the student was taken after a complaint was filed in 2022 by the cybercrime unit of Pakistan's Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) in Lahore. The complainant alleged that he had received the videos and photos from three different mobile phone numbers.

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The FIA said that it had examined the complainant's phone and found that "obscene material" had been sent to him.

The lawyers of the two students, however, have said that they have been "trapped in a false case", the BBC reported, adding that the father of the death-row convict will file an appeal in the Lahore High Court.

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Earlier in August last year, more than 80 Christian homes and 19 churches in Pakistan were vandalised after two Christian brothers were accused of "desecrating" the Quran.

In one of Pakistan's most high-profile cases, Christian woman Asia Bibi was at the centre of a decade-long blasphemy row, which eventually saw her death sentence overturned and ended with her fleeing the country.

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