Man sentenced to life on charges of blasphemy in Pakistan

October 18, 2015 03:50 pm | Updated 03:50 pm IST - Lahore

A man has been sentenced to life in Pakistan’s Punjab province on charges of blasphemy after his father’s complaint.

Wakeel Husain, a resident of Kamoki, some 40 km from Lahore, had filed an application with police in 2013 alleging that his son Bilal had committed blasphemy.

Police arrested Bilal and registered a case against him.

Additional District and Sessions Court Judge Syed Faizul Hasan on Saturday handed down life imprisonment to Bilal.

During the trial, the prosecution produced the family members of Bilal as witnesses who testified against him.

Blasphemy is an extremely sensitive issue in Pakistan where 97 per cent of the population is Muslim.

Two high-profile politicians — then Punjab governor Salmaan Taseer and minorities minister Shahbaz Bhatti — were murdered in 2011 after calling for reforms to the blasphemy law.

Pakistan’s tough blasphemy law has attracted criticism from rights groups, who say they are frequently misused to settle personal scores.

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