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Christian man sentenced to death in Pak over blasphemous Whatsapp text

News Agencies | Updated on: 16 September 2017, 16:24 IST

A Christian man has been sentenced to death for blasphemy by a Pakistan court after a close friend accused him of sharing material that insulted Islam on Whatsapp.

35-year-old Nadeem James was arrested in July, 2016 after his friend Yasir Bashir filed a complaint to the police that he received a poem on WhatsApp, ridiculing Prophet Mohammad and other holy figures, the local media reported.

The accused "was handed a death sentence by the court on Thursday on blasphemy charges," said defence lawyer Riaz Anjum.

Under the country's strict blasphemy laws, anyone accused of insulting Islam and its key religious figures risks being sentenced to death.

The European Parliament has criticised Pakistan's human rights record and squarely reminded Islamabad that it has grossly erred in handing down capital punishment for those allegedly violating the nation's blasphemy laws.

Earlier in June 12, an anti-terrorism court in Pakistan has for the first time sentenced Shiite Taimoor Raza to death for allegedly sharing blasphemous content about Sunni religious leaders and the Prophet Mohammed's wives on Facebook, the harshest among cyber-crime related sentences handed down so far in the country.

Authorities have asked Twitter and Facebook to help identify users sharing blasphemous materials.


First published: 16 September 2017, 16:24 IST