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Pakistani court sentences woman to death for WhatsApp ‘blasphemy’

Aneeqa Ateej aged 26 is accused of sending blasphemous text messages and caricatures of Prophet Muhammad through the social media app WhatsApp. The Rawalpindi court in Pakistan sentenced the woman to death under 295-C. Previously, she was arrested in may 2020 and was left to wait for her death sentence which was handed out on Wednesday. The crime penalty turned out to be dreadful. She was sentenced to a 20-year jail sentence along with a fine of Rs 2,00,000. The verdict demanded hanging her by the neck until she is dead.

     Aneeqa Ateej used the platform for sharing unGodly messages of the Prophet which is never going to be accepted with a positive eye. The court summary issued narrated that she forwarded un pious message to her friend when he asked her to change the WhatsApp message.    In a statement towards the court, Ateeq asserted that her accuser, Hasnat Farooq, deliberately drew her into a religious discussion in order to frame her after she refused to "be friendly" with him. They met on a popular internet multiplayer experience and stayed in touch via WhatsApp.

"So I feel that he intentionally swept me into this topic for revenge," she said in an evidentiary statement. "That's why he got recorded [sic] a case upon me and during [WhatsApp] chat he accumulated everything that went against me."

      The Pakistan government has rigorous measures when it comes to punishing people with blasphemous misdeeds. The United States reports that more than 80 percent of the people in Pakistan on International Religious Freedom have been jailed related to unGodly actions, either facing the death penalty or life imprisonment.

   Certain cases disregarding the God have initiated severe punishment and massive backlashes from the government. Zafar Bhatti aged 51 was found hanging on jail in 2012. He is a Christian and was sentenced to death under section 295-C of the Pakistan Penal Code. Priyantha Kumara, a Sri Lankan man was burnt alive for his blasphemous comment. The mob gathered recorded selfies and videos of his horrific death.

'Gustakh e Nabi ki ek hi saza, SAR tan se Juda, sar tan se juda,”- This chant implies that beheading is the only acceptable punishment for 'insulting' Prophet Muhammad.However, instead of condemning such barbarism under the guise of religion, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan downplayed the horrible crime by making a reference to the threat on Priyantha Kumara as a 'vigilante attack.' Khan conveniently skipped the part where Kumara was brutally killed on blasphemy charges. Because they were 'defenseless,' the Pakistan police stood mute as the mob began chanting, called for a man's beheading, and beat him to death for blasphemy.

In the most recent such threat, a Sri Lankan textile factory supervisor was beaten to death by a mob and his body was publicly burned in the regional capital of Sialkot in December after coworkers accused him of blasphemy.


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