Pakistani man sentenced to death for Blasphemous comments made on facebook


 A Pakistani man accused of making blasphemous statements on Facebook has been handed a death sentence by a Pakistani court.

 According to the Guardian, Taimoor Raza, 30 was found guilty by a Bahawalpur court for insulting the prophet Muhammad. The Guardian reports that the accused who was among 15 other people arrested last year for blasphemy, had got into a debate about Islam with another Facebook user who eventually turned out to be an undercover counter-terrorism agent.

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"The casual manner in which death sentences are handed in blasphemy cases coupled with the lack of orientation of Pakistani courts with technology makes this a very dangerous situation," Saroop Ijaz, a lawyer with the Human Rights Watch in Pakistan said.

The lawyer said that "such sentences would only embolden those who want to wrongly frame people" while noting the mix-up in the judiciary. "The confusion between national security and religion is very alarming," Ijaz said.

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The court ruling on Taimoor Raza which is the harshest punishment handed down for online comments to date, is part of a wider crackdown on blasphemous materials on the internet. 

 Pakistani authorities have asked their citizens to notify the appropriate bodies when they come across blasphemous posts or comments made by their citizens on social media networks. Google, Facebook and other social media networks too have been told to identify users posting any blasphemous related comments.

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