A court in the northern Pakistani city of Rawalpindi on Thursday, sentenced a Muslim woman to death for allegedly committing ‘blasphemy’ and insulting Prophet Muhammad and Islam on WhatsApp.
The convict, Aneeqa Ateeq, was found guilty under the Asian country’s strict blasphemy laws, which imposes a mandatory death penalty for insulting the Prophet.
Ateeq had allegedly shared images deemed to be insulting to Prophet Muhammad and one of his wives, also considered a “holy personage” in the country and by Muslim faithful.
Before pronouncing the sentence on Ateeq, Judge Adnan Mushtaq said “the blasphemous material which was shared/installed by the female accused on her status on WhatsApp messaging platform and the messages as well as caricatures which were sent to the complainant are totally unbearable and not tolerable for a Muslim.”
The 26-year-old Ateeq who pleaded not guilty to the charges which were first filed in May 2020, said her accuser, Hasnat Farooq, had deliberately pulled her into a religious discussion to frame her up after she refused “to be friendly” towards him.
Farooq had reported that Ateeq had shared the alleged blasphemous material as a WhatsApp status and refused to delete it when he confronted her on that messaging platform.
But in her defence, Ateeq said she and Farooq had met on a popular online multiplayer game and continued communicating on WhatsApp.
“So, I feel that he intentionally dragged me into this topic for revenge, that’s why he registered a case against me and during the WhatsApp chat, he collected everything that went against me,” she said.
Ateeq’s death sentence is however, subject to confirmation by the Lahore High Court, a forum before which she also has the right of appeal.
Join the conversation
Support Ripples Nigeria, hold up solutions journalism
Balanced, fearless journalism driven by data comes at huge financial costs.
As a media platform, we hold leadership accountable and will not trade the right to press freedom and free speech for a piece of cake.
If you like what we do, and are ready to uphold solutions journalism, kindly donate to the Ripples Nigeria cause.
Your support would help to ensure that citizens and institutions continue to have free access to credible and reliable information for societal development.
SPECIAL REPORT: Illegal miners degrade Ekiti community, engage in child labour
The activities of illegal miners in a community in Ekiti State have caused degradation of the environment, as miners engage...
SPECIAL REPORT: Inside the illegal trading of forest woods in Cross River community
“With a N20,000 bribe, an external buyer can influence the youth in host communities , Cross River State, to cut...
SPECIAL REPORT: Enugu govt watches as waste takes over state, threatens public health, environment
In this report, Arinze Chijioke looks at how delays in evacuation of waste in Enugu State encourages indiscriminate waste disposal, its health implications, and how...
INVESTIGATION: NDDC awards N1bn road contract to poultry farm
The Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) in what appears a breach of procurement laws, awarded a contract worth N1.028 billion...
FEATURE… Hard job, low income: Agony of Nigerian commercial drivers
Amid increase in fuel price over the years, coupled with bad roads and insecurity in Nigeria, many commercial drivers have...