LEAs tightening noose against blasphemers on social media

The Nation  |  Dec 04, 2022

 LEAs tightening noose against blasphemers on social media

The law enforcement agencies (LEAs) was consistently tightening the noose against blasphemers on social media and netting the people who are allegedly involved in this criminal activity with every passing day.

According to a tentative statistic, 62 blasphemers have been putted behind the bars so far, nine of them have been awarded the capital punishment by the trial courts while two of them have been awarded death penalty by the high courts.

In addition, the accused under trial in blasphemous cases had never been granted bail by any court of law yet.

To curb the menace of blasphemous material on social media, a number of faith-based organizations have got into momentum including Legal Commission on Blasphemy Pakistan, Namoos-e-Risalat Lawyers Forum Pakistan, Legal Thinkers Forum, Tehreek Tehfuz Namoos-e-Risalat Pakistan, World Khatm-e-Nabuwat Council, Anjuman Ashqaan-e-Muhammad, Tehfuz Khatm-e-Nabuwat Forum, Tehfuz Khatm-e-Nabuwat Wukla Forum, Legal and Cyber Experts Forum, Razakaran-e-Khatm-e-Nabuwat and Islamabad Bar Association.

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These religious organizations are pursuing the blasphemous cases till their logical conclusions.

Legal Commission on Blasphemy Pakistan Secretary General Sheraz Ahmad Farooqui informed that utilizing its Cyber Crime Wing’s expertise, the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) had booked an accused allegedly involved in publication of indecent content against the sacred books Quran and Bible on social media on Tuesday.

However, it had also arrested two miscreants allegedly involved in proliferation of desecration stuff on social media on Wednesday, he added.

He said a blasphemer namely Sana Ullah had been awarded death sentence twice by the Anti-Terrorist Court, Peshawar-I.

Farooqui said ATC Judge Fazl Sattar Khan reserved the verdict in the following case on November 24, adding that the convict used to share desecration content on the WhatsApp group against the sanctity and prestige of Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him), Mothers of believers (Ummahaat-ul-Momineen) and the religion of Islam.

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He further informed that a woman known as Rabia Peerni had been arrested after the First Information (FIR) registration at the Data Darbar Police Station, Lahore on Saturday. He said the accused was involved in desecration of Islamic values and injunctions publicly and making viral number of videos on social media.

Meanwhile, the National Assembly (NA) had passed a unanimous resolution to withdraw appeals of the government from the Supreme Court to annul the decision of Lahore High Court (LHC) against the publication of blasphemous content on the social media.

The resolution’s mover PML-N Member of National Assembly Chaudhary Faqir Ahmad told APP that the then government of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf challenged the decision in the apex court instead of implementing it in letter and spirit.

He urged the incumbent government to withdraw the appeals against the LHC’s decision filed by the Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication and Pakistan Telecommunication Authority in the tenure of so called Riyasat-e-Madinah.

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In addition, the Ministry of Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony had reactivated its Web Evaluation Cell to control the increasing incidents of blasphemy on social media.

The Ministry’s spokesperson Muhammad Umar Butt, talking to APP, informed that the people could report blasphemous material if found on social media on the official email address: reportblasphemy@mora.gov.pk, Facebook page: @mora.official or WhatsApp number: 0306 3332555.

He made it clear that hate material against the religion or sacred figures was completely banned as per law and the Constitution. “Those allegedly involved in this illegitimate activity would be taken to task as per law of the land,” he added.

He said that Ulema and Mashaykh of various schools of thought were making unflinching efforts to promote religious harmony among all sections of the society. They always discouraged non-state actors fueling propaganda against the religion and state at all public forums, he maintained.

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