A Christian man has been sentenced to hang in Pakistan for receiving ‘blasphemous’ cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad on his phone, according to reports.
Noman Masih, who according to different sources in 19 or 22, was sentenced to death by the Bahawalpur Court, in the province of Punjab, on May 30.
He was arrested in 2019 for violating 295-c of the Criminal Code, which punishes contempt for the Prophet Muhammad.
The Fides agency, the Vatican news agency, reported that Masih received the images of a young Muslim, against whom the police have not taken action.
Both Masih and a second man, his friend Sunny Mushtaq, were arrested after the images were received via the messaging app. Mushtaq is expected to receive a similar punishment.
Noman Masih (pictured), who according to different sources was either 19 or 22, was sentenced to death by the Bahawalpur Court in Punjab province on 30 May.
Fides reported that photographs of Mohammed’s drawings were found on the phones of the two friends.
The trial against the two men ended in January, but it has been five months before the Bahawalpur Magistrate Court district judge handed down the sentence, which was made public on 30 May.
Masih’s family has denied the allegation.
Lazar Allah Rakha, Masih’s lawyer, told Morning Star News that he was “extremely disappointed by the conviction, because there was absolutely no case.”
“There was no evidence against Noman, and none of the witnesses presented by the police could corroborate the blasphemy charge against him.”
He continued: “Despite so many contradictions in the case, I cannot understand why Bahawalpur Extra Sessions Judge Muhammad Hafeez Ur Rehman sentenced Noman instead of acquitting him. This is murder of justice.
Speaking to Agenzia Fides, Aneeqa Maria Anthony, lawyer for the NGO ‘La Voz’, criticized the decision.
Anthony said that ‘the magistrate ignored all procedures and dismissed all evidence in favor of the defendant.
‘He [the judge] he only wanted to fulfill his ‘sacred duty’ of punishing an alleged blasphemer. We expect the same fate for Sunny Mushtaq.
They were arrested for a teenage game. Their families are suffering a lot.
“Our legal team at The Voice is doing everything necessary to bring them justice, helping their families and supporting them through these dark and difficult times.”
Pictured: A sentencing photograph, according to Voice4Justice, shows that Noman Masih was sentenced to death under section 295-C of Pakistan’s blasphemy laws.
Anthony said the drawing was sent to friends by Bilal Ahmad, a young Muslim man.
However, the police did not take any action against Ahmad.
“This is another example of the misuse of blasphemy laws,” the lawyer said, according to Fides.
He called on the authorities to carry out a fair investigation and said his lawyers intended to appeal the sentence and could go to the Lahore High Court.
Images received via WhatsApp are automatically downloaded to a person’s phone and can even be backed up automatically with the right settings.
This means that any images Masih received would have been saved to his phone automatically whether he wanted them or not.
Pakistan has been heavily criticized for its extreme blasphemy laws, which critics say are used to persecute and intimidate members of religious minorities.
In 2020, an American man was shot dead in a court in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar, accused of claiming to be a prophet.
In August 2021, an eight-year-old Hindu boy was in favor of the death penalty after becoming the youngest person to be charged with blasphemy in the country.
In January 2022, a court sentenced a woman to death in Pakistan for ‘blasphemous’ messages sent via WhatsApp and Facebook.
The boy was arrested for intentionally urinating on a carpet in the library of a madrassa, or religious school, which houses religious books.
And in January 2022, a court sentenced a woman to death in Pakistan for ‘blasphemous’ messages sent via WhatsApp and Facebook.
The woman, Aneeqa Ateeq, 26, said she believed the person who accused her intentionally dragged her into a religious discussion on social media so they could collect “evidence” and “get revenge” after she refused to be friends with him. .
However, the court found her guilty, sentenced her to 20 years’ imprisonment, and ordered her to be hanged.
I am Rakesh Sharma, I associated with Elite News as an Editor, since 2021. I take care of all the news operations like content, budget, hiring and policy making.