An anti-terrorism court in Pakistan has handed down death sentence to a Shia Muslim activist who allegedly committed blasphemy by posting anti-Wahhabi and Saudi contents on social media.
The court in Punjab province's Bahawalpur district announced the sentence for TaimoorRaza after holding him guilty of posting derogatory content on social networking website Facebook.
Shafiq Qureshi, public prosecutor in Bahawalpur, confirmed Raza was convicted for allegedly making derogatory remarks against the Deobani sect, which is akin to the Wahhabi tradition and Takfirism practiced in Saudi Arabia.
"An anti terrorism court of Bahawalpur has awarded him the death sentence," Qureshi said, adding, “It is the first ever death sentence in a case that involves social media. The trial was conducted in Bahawalpur jail in tight security," Qureshi noted.
Raza, who belongs to the Shia Muslim community, had been accused of spreading of blasphemous contents including "hate speech."
The 30- year-old activist was detained after playing the material on his phone on a bus stop in the region, where a counter-terrorism officer arrested him and confiscated his phone.