Pakistani Man sentenced to Death for mocking Muhammad

A 30-year-old Pakistani man has been sentenced to death by a counterterrorism court, following the conviction on charges he insulted the Prophet Muhammed and his wives on Facebook, officials said Sunday.

Taimoor Raza, who belongs to the minority Shia sect in the Sunni-dominant country, was arrested last year following an online argument about Islam with someone who turned out to be a counterterrorism agent.

Raza’s defense lawyer, Fida Hussain Rana, stated that his client was initially charged only for insulting remarks about other religious personalities, which carries a maximum two-year punishment, but charges of “derogatory acts against Prophet Muhammad” were later added to ensure the ultimate penalty during the trial in Bahawalpur, 300 miles south of Lahore.

It marks the country’s first ever death sentence in a case pertaining to social media, but as Raza’s trial was handled by the counterterrorism court, he is eligible to appeal the ruling in the High Court and then the Supreme Court.

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