The Facebook logo is displayed on their website in an illustration photo taken in Bordeaux, France. Photograph: (Reuters)
In a first ever penalty over online blasphemy in Pakistan, an Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) in Punjab's Bahwalpur on Saturday awarded the death sentence to a man on the charges of sharing offensive content about Islam on social media.
Bahawalpur's ATC Judge Shabir Ahmed announced the death sentence for the 30-year-old accused, who belongs to the Shia community, according to a report appearing in the Dawn
The accused, who hails from Lahore, had allegedly posted derogatory content about prominent Sunni religious figures and wives of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) on Facebook. He was arrested last year from Bahawalpur by the Counter Terrorism Department.
Blasphemy has been a contentious issue in the country as many have called for reforms in the law to prevent its misuse.
Earlier in March, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif ordered the blocking of blasphemous content on social media and action against those propagating such content.
Following this, the Pakistan National Assembly had unanimously resolved to form a 10-member committee to investigate blasphemous content being circulated on social media platforms.
Sharif had directed Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan to take all necessary measures to ensure that the objectionable material was blocked and sought daily reports on developments in this regard.