Man Sentenced To Death Over Pakistan Blasphemy Lynching

by Garry Watts February 9, 2018, 2:09
Man Sentenced To Death Over Pakistan Blasphemy Lynching

It merits mention here that in the Mashal Khan murder case, a total of 61 persons were charged, out of which 58 were detained.

ATC Judge Fazal Subhar while announcing verdict in the heavily guarded Haripur Central Jail imposed death penalty on Imran Ali, who had confessed to shooting Mashal.

Students who participated in the lynching were later rounded up after being identified using CCTV footage from the university and video clips.

Saad Abbasi, a defense lawyer representing the accused, told the AFP news agency at the prison where the verdict was announced that 25 people received three-year prison sentences over the killing while another 26 were acquitted.

The gathering was attended by local Khatm-e-Nabuwat workers, who chanted slogans in favour of those in jail, as well as those released, condemning the deceased Mashal Khan as a blasphemer. Last April, Mashal Khan, 23, was stripped, beaten and shot by a gang of mostly students before being thrown from the second floor of his dorm at the Abdul Wali Khan University in the northwestern city of Mardan.

He was attacked after a debate on religion at his dormitary, with an investigation ruling that Khan did not engage in blasphemy.

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He was fined £973 and handed a death sentence today.

Pakistani students, teachers and officials have been convicted of murdering a scholar accused of blasphemy a year ago at a north-west Pakistan university, with strict punishments handed down to some of the perpetrators.

He described himself as a humanist and had posters of Che Guevara and Karl Marx on his wall, along with messages celebrating free speech.

Hundreds of students and some staff members marched through the campus searching for Khan.

The punishment for blasphamy in Pakistan: Blasphemy against Islam or the Prophet Muhammad can carry the death sentence in Pakistan, but mere allegations often suffice to spark mob violence.

According to the report, President of university employees, Ajmal Mayar, had revealed during probe that about a month before the incident, PSF President Sabir Mayar and a varsity employee, Asad Katlang, had met him and said they wanted to remove Mashal from their way as he was a threat to their group. Police have found no evidence to suggest that the lynched victim had committed any act of blasphemy and regarded the death as a premeditated murder.

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