Lahore: The Christian man who has been awarded death sentence over blasphemy charges in Pakistan will appeal in the High Court.
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 Nadeem’s lawyer Riaz Anjum Wakeel.
The Guardian quoted Riaz as saying that his client intended to appeal against the verdict, passed on Thursday by a sessions court in the town of Gujrat.
Quoting AFP, The Independent reported that in this case there had been a dispute between his client and the friend over a woman.
“My client will appeal the sentence in the high court as he has been framed by his friend, who was annoyed over James’ affair with a Muslim girl,” The Independent reported Nadeem’s lawyer as saying.
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. (ANI)