Woman in Pakistan Sentenced to Death for 'Blasphemous' WhatsApp Status

© AFP 2023 / CHRISTOPHE SIMONWhatsApp logo in the eye
WhatsApp logo in the eye  - Sputnik International, 1920, 20.01.2022
Blasphemy remains a highly sensitive and controversial matter in Pakistan. In 2017, Taimur Raza became the first person sentenced to death for allegedly committing blasphemy on the social media platform Facebook.
A Pakistani court has sentenced a Muslim woman to death, convicting her for posting a "blasphemous" status — caricatures of Prophet Muhammad on WhatsApp and sending the same message to her friend.
Aneeqa Ateeq, 26, was arrested in May 2020 after her male friend accused her of sending "blasphemous" caricatures of the prophet, making remarks about "holy personages".
In doing so, she "deliberately and intentionally defiles sacred righteous personalities and insulted the religious beliefs of Muslims", said the charge sheet.
The court on Wednesday ordered that the woman be "hanged by her neck till she is dead"; she was also sentenced to 20 years in prison and ordered to pay a fine of 200,000 Pakistani Rupees ($1,137).
According to the US Commission on International Religious Freedom, about 80 people in Pakistan are in prison for blasphemy, with at least half sentenced to death. However, there have been no executions so far.
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