Pakistani Professor Junaid Hafeez sentenced to death for insulting Prophet Muhammad on social media

A Pakistan court on Saturday sentenced a professor to death for posting derogatory comments about the Prophet Muhammad on facebook. According to media reports, the police had registered a case on March 13, 2013 on charges of blasphemy against professor Junaid Hafeez of the English literature department of Bahauddin Zakariya University in Multan city of Punjab province. 

The trial of the case began in 2014 and Junaid Hafeez was placed in the ultra-safe ward of the new Central Jail in Multan.

According to reports, Additional Sessions Judge Kashif Qayyum sentenced Hafeez to death under Section 295-C of the Pakistan Penal Code and fined him Rs 5 lakh(in PKR). Hafeez’s lawyer Rashid Rahman was shot dead in his office in 2014. 

There has been a lot of ruckus in this matter in Pakistan and now after the decision is come, many intellectuals have condemned it. There is a charge of unnecessary delay in this case and many judges looking at it got transferred.

What are Pakistan’s blasphemy laws?

Blasphemy is a very sensitive subject in Pakistan , where insulting the Quran or Prophet Muhammad can result in life imprisonment or capital punishment. Apart from this, after the blasphemy allegations, many times the mob has been attacking the accused. According to media reports, at least 75 people have died in blasphemy charges since 1990. Among those killed include the accused of blasphemy, people acquitted by the court, their lawyers, family members and the judges involved in their cases.

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