A court in Pakistan has sentenced a 30-year-old man to death after finding the man guilty in a blasphemy case. The death sentence has been pronounced by an anti-terrorism court in Bahawalpur for allegedly posting blasphemous content on a social media site. Taimoor Raza was arrested last year after having a debate over the Islam with an agent of the anti-terrorism department on Facebook.
Raza was among the 15 persons, who had been arrested by the anti-terrorism squad last year. All the detainees were accused in a blasphemy case. The latest verdict in the case of Taimoor Raza was a part of Pakistan’s wider crackdown in discouraging people from posting anti-Islamic content on social media sites. In Pakistan, unfounded allegations of blasphemy often lead to massive mob violence that ends with the death of innocents.
While speaking about what has happened with Taimoor Raza, his brother Waseem Abbas said that they are from a “poor but literate” family that belongs to the Shia Muslim community. Abbas said that Raza once involved in an online debate over Islam with a person, who later turned out to be an official from the anti-terrorism department.
According to Raza’s defense counsel Fida Hussain Rana, Raza has been charged with two sections of law suggesting maximum penalty. He was later charged with under section 295C for involving in the act of insulting Prophet Muhammad.
Social media sites like Facebook and Twitter have become a battleground for the debate on blasphemy and following a number of unwanted incidents, the government of Pakistan has requested the Facebook and Twitter to help authorities identifying users circulating blasphemous content through their social media platform. Law enforcement authorities in Pakistan have also urged people sharing the information of blasphemous content on social media with concerned officials.