Christian Man Sentenced to Death in Pakistan Over ‘Blasphemous’ Cartoons

A Christian man, Noman Masih, has been sentenced to death by hanging in Pakistan after allegedly receiving cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed on his phone, according to reports. Masih, who is either 19 or 22 years old, was sentenced by the Court of Bahawalpur in Punjab province on May 30.

Arrested in 2019 for violating section 295-c of the Penal Code, which punishes contempt shown towards the Prophet Mohammed, Masih reportedly received the images from a young Muslim man who has not faced any police action. Both Masih and his friend Sunny Mushtaq were arrested after receiving the images via a messenger app, and it is anticipated that Mushtaq will receive a similar punishment.

Agenzia Fides, the Vatican’s news agency, reported that photographs of drawings of Mohammed were found on the phones belonging to the two friends. The trial against the pair concluded in January, but it took five months for the sentence to be handed down by the district judge of the Bahawalpur Magistrate Court.

Masih’s family has denied the accusation, and his attorney, Lazar Allah Rakha, expressed extreme disappointment with the conviction, stating that there was no proof against Masih and none of the witnesses produced by police could corroborate the blasphemy allegation.

Pictured: A photograph of a sentence which, according to Voice4Justice, shows that Noman Masih was sentenced to death under section 295-C of Pakistan’s blasphemy laws

Aneeqa Maria Anthony, an attorney from the NGO ‘The Voice,’ criticised the decision, claiming that the magistrate ignored all procedures and dismissed all evidence in favour of the accused. Anthony revealed that the drawing was sent to their friends by Bilal Ahmad, a young Muslim, but the police took no action against him.

Pakistan has faced strong criticism for its extreme blasphemy laws, which critics argue are used to persecute and intimidate members of religious minorities.


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