Pakistan man gets death sentence for blasphemy

Islamabad: A local Pakistan court has convicted a man hailing from Charsadda district in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of committing blasphemy through uploading a video on the internet and sentenced him to death.

The court convicted Bashir Mastan, 42, under section 295-C of Pakistan Penal Code, The Dawn newspaper reported. Along with the death sentence, the man was fined PKR 100,000.

The court, while sentencing him to death, ordered that the sentence should not be executed unless confirmed by the High Court in Peshawar, according to the Pakistani daily.

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Reportedly, a video had gone viral wherein the suspect could be seen making a false claim of his being a prophet. The Dawn report said that the said video had resulted in a public outcry.

Earlier this year, the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) had raised concerns about the recent surge in blasphemy cases being registered against sectarian and religious minorities.

“HRCP believes that the state has effectively abdicated its responsibilities under international human rights law by leaving those accused of blasphemy to the mercy of mobs, or trials that are marred by glaring legal and procedural flaws,” the rights group had said.

They said that the police must also refrain from registering blasphemy cases so promptly, knowing full well the sensitive implications of doing so when such complaints are often fabricated and spurred on by personal vendettas.

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