25-year-old sentenced to 13 years in prison over 'religiously offensive' Facebook post

By AFP
Published: March 3, 2016
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PHOTO: REUTERS

PHOTO: REUTERS

LAHORE: A Pakistani man was sentenced to 13 years in prison on Thursday for allegedly posting religiously offensive material on his Facebook page, lawyers in the case said.

Rizwan Haider, 25, was convicted in an anti-terrorism court of three charges, including promoting sectarian hatred, after he supposedly published a post referring to Prophet Mohammed (pbuh).

“This case… was registered against Haider, who is a Shia Muslim by faith, in January for posting objectionable material against the belief of Sunni Muslims,” Adeel Chattah, public prosecutor in the case, told AFP.

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He was also fined Rs250,000, Chattah said, adding he denied the charges and has the right to appeal.

His lawyer dismissed the accusations.

“He only liked it and did not post it on the page,” Shameem Zaidi said.

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Pakistan tightened its hate crime laws as part of a campaign to combat extremism after a Taliban attack at a school in Peshawar in December 2014 killed 153 people, mostly children.

Authorities have arrested and sentenced several religious clerics for hate speech in recent months.

Anti-terrorism court jailed another Shia man for 13 years in November 2015 after he also posted what it deemed sectarian hate speech on Facebook.

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Reader Comments (10)

  • Cancerian
    Mar 4, 2016 - 12:02AM

    The articles doesn’t say on whose complaint the case was registered or whether it was on the basis of the cyber sleuths ?Recommend

  • Jibran
    Mar 4, 2016 - 3:51AM

    This is equivalent to life sentence, and this is the second such sentence. We have yet to see a single wahabi getting such harsh punishments. Recommend

  • TooTrue
    Mar 4, 2016 - 4:56AM

    “Sticks and stones might break my bones but words will never hurt me.” Pakistanis should remember to chant this everyday. We might eventually have a sane society.Recommend

  • Mirza Asif Baig
    Mar 4, 2016 - 10:46AM

    Good Step…Recommend

  • shani
    Mar 4, 2016 - 11:41AM

    good,extremism should be ruled out from pakistanRecommend

  • Farru
    Mar 4, 2016 - 2:21PM

    While I am in favour of some sort of deterrence in such cases, these laws can be easily misused like blasphemy laws in Pakistan. The state and judiciary needs to be very careful in booking people under such lawsRecommend

  • Osama
    Mar 4, 2016 - 2:26PM

    @Jibran:
    May we please have your full name so that we can register a case against you as well for trying to promote sectarian hatred?

    I dare you. Recommend

  • Mansoor
    Mar 4, 2016 - 6:21PM

    13 years in prison over a facebook like. What a joke!Recommend

  • Eden
    Mar 4, 2016 - 7:42PM

    The Pakistani people need to have to some sense and not punish others blindly. There is no right to freedom of expressionRecommend

  • Mar 5, 2016 - 9:04PM

    Good Step Facebook Nice WorkRecommend

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