Man jailed for blasphemous Facebook post

A Pakistani court on Friday sentenced a man to five years “rigorous imprisonment” — jail and hard labour — for a blasphemous Facebook post, in what is believed to be one of the first such cases under controversial cybercrime laws.

Sajid Ali was charged with posting blasphemous and derogatory content against revered Islamic figures on the social network in 2017.

 

 

Blasphemy is a hugely sensitive issue in conservative Muslim Pakistan, where the laws can carry a potential death sentence for anyone deemed to have insulted Islam. Even unproven allegations have led to mob lynchings and murder.

Prosecutor Munam Bashir Chaudhry told AFP the case is the first to be tried under a section of the cybercrime laws, which were passed in 2016, pertaining to hate speech.

There have been other cases of prosecution against “online blasphemy” in Pakistan, including one in 2017 that saw a man sentenced to death for sharing what the court said was blasphemous content on social media.

However, none of the previous convictions have come under the cybercrime laws, according to Chaudhry.

Pakistani authorities say they have registered about 500 cases in total under the cybercrime laws since they came into effect.

Critics of the laws say they are open to abuse by government agencies to restrict freedom of expression in a country where activists have long warned of a shrinking space for dissent.

In 2017 the Islamabad High Court ordered the government to open an investigation into “online blasphemy”, threatening to ban social media platforms that failed to censor content insulting Islam and its values.

Pakistan famously blocked Facebook for two weeks in 2010 over blasphemous content.

It also blocked Youtube from 2012 to 2016 due to a film about Islam’s Prophet that led to violent protests across the Muslim world.

AFP

Comments

80 responses to “Man jailed for blasphemous Facebook post”

  1. Avatar Harrison alex says:

    My god

  2. Avatar Ali chigozie Kingsley says:

    Really

  3. Chidera Samuel Chidera Samuel says:

    Oh my gd

  4. Avatar Onyinye Okafor says:

    Really

  5. Oriowo Modupe Oriowo Modupe says:

    Noted

  6. Avatar Chaaik says:

    Dat end the case,one dose not need to talk about it

  7. Richard Richard says:

    Not good

  8. Avatar Ayomipo OGUNDELE says:

    No freedom of speech

  9. Saminu Sani Saminu Sani says:

    OK

  10. Avatar MONEYgood says:

    Noted

  11. Avatar Williampetez says:

    Not gud

  12. Avatar Esther Oluwatoyin says:

    hmmm

  13. Avatar David Asuquo says:

    Thanks for the information

  14. Avatar Emmanuel Alexis says:

    I love cashgist

  15. Avatar Okubanjo Abosede says:

    Hmmmm

  16. Avatar Ofoma chigozie says:

    Ok

  17. Avatar Okocha Lisa says:

    Ok.

  18. Avatar Ademola Isreal says:

    Nice

  19. Avatar Udomi Dorcas says:

    Not nice

  20. Avatar Esther Dako says:

    Hmm, it is well

  21. Avatar Ademola Isreal says:

    Hmmm

  22. Avatar Obinna Nkwugbukansi says:

    Hmm. Facebook post only. We need to be careful in our post

  23. Avatar Harrison alex says:

    Be careful

  24. Akinsanya84 Akinsanya84 says:

    Resume

  25. Avatar bright ohaka says:

    Ok

  26. Avatar Victor Nwaokocha says:

    Nice