RAWALPINDI: A woman resident of Islamabad was sentenced to death on blasphemy charge on Wednesday.

A local court in Rawalpindi also sentenced her to three years for posing as Muslim and to 10 years for insulting religious belief, besides awarding seven years imprisonment for online hate speech.

The case was lodged with the Rawalpindi cyber crime cell of the Federal Investi­gation Agency (FIA) on May 13, 2020, on the complaint of a man who claimed she was his friend and forwarded him blasphemous content through WhatsApp.

Additional District and Sessions Judge Adnan Mushtaq convicted Aneeqa Ateeq, resident of Islamabad’s Sector G-10/4, under sections 295-A, 295-C and 298 of Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) and Section 11 of Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act (Peca).

The court awarded death sentence under Section 295-C [blasphemy] and imposed Rs50,000 fine on her. Under Section 295-A [insulting religious belief], she was sentenced to 10 years along with the fine of Rs50,000. Also, she was convicted of posing as Muslim under Section 298 of the PPC and awarded three years sentence with Rs50,000 fine.

Invoking Section 11 of Peca (hate speech: whoever prepares or disseminates information, through any information system or device, that advances or is likely to advance interfaith, sectarian or racial hatred, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to seven years or with fine or with both) against her, the judge also sentenced her to seven years with fine of Rs50,000.

Published in Dawn, January 20th, 2022

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