Pakistani man sentenced to death after Facebook posts

Authorities have asked citizens to report incidences of blasphemy seen on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.
Authorities have asked citizens to report incidences of blasphemy seen on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. Photo credit: Getty

A court in Pakistan has sentenced a man to death for making blasphemous statements about Prophet Mohammed on Facebook.

Death penalties for blasphemy are common in Pakistan, and it's understood this is the first time that social media has been used to provide evidence. 

30-year-old Taimoor Raza was sentenced to death as part of a social media crackdown on blasphemous content. According to Slate, the Government of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif frequently sends texts to citizens warning them not to share blasphemous posts on social media platforms, and prosecutes such posts under the controversial Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act. 

Authorities have asked citizens to report incidences of blasphemy seen on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. Allegations of blasphemy in Pakistan can lead to violence and killings by mobs, and just two months ago a student was murdered over accusations of blasphemy in Peshawar.

Human rights groups have voiced strong objections to the country's blasphemy laws, and the Human Rights Watch organisation has also spoken out against the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act.

The organisation said the act "could result in serious violations of human rights, such as the right to privacy and freedom of expression."

Mr Raza is able to appeal his sentence.

Newshub.