An anti-terrorism court in Peshawar has sentenced Sana Ullah, a Pakistani citizen living in the northern province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, to death for committing blasphemy on social media.
The court sentenced Sana to 21 years in prison and a fine of 1.6 million rupees. The fine and jail sentence will be enforced immediately while the death sentence will have to be upheld by the Peshawar High Court.
Witnesses said the SIM card of the mobile phone in Sana’s name contained several blasphemous contents that were shared in a group on the “What’sApp” chat.
The complaint was filed on Aug. 4, 2021, for violation of articles 295-a (insult to religious beliefs), 295-C (derogatory remarks against the Prophet Mohammed) and 298-a (insult to sacred figures) of the Penal Code.
Sana was also accused of violation of article 20 of the Law on the prevention of electronic crimes (offense to the dignity of the person), as well as in violation of article 7 (1 ) of the Anti-Terrorism Law.
A Fides report said Pakistan has been witnessing a crackdown on blasphemy on social media, applying existing severe criminal legislation.
Islamic organizations are using all legal channels to control what they see as “a growing threat of spreading blasphemous content on social media.”
A consortium of religious, social and legal organizations in the country has called for the most severe punishment for those who commit blasphemy on social media.
According to the Center for Research and Security Studies, based in Islamabad, 1,415 people were accused of blasphemy in Pakistan between 1947 and 2021. Of these, 81 were extrajudicially killed. – from a report by Fides