Pakistan court sentences man to death in false blasphemy and lynching case

08 February, 2018, 00:11 | Author: Edward Snyder
  • One awarded death sentence, 5 get life term in Mashal murder case

Mr Chamkani said one of the convicts, Imran Ali, had been sentenced to death because he had shot Mr Khan three times.

Iqbal Khan, father of Mashal Khan, said that he would go to the high court against the acquittal of 25 people in connection with the murder of his son at Abdul Wali Khan University previous year.

Mashal Khan, a mass communication student at Mardan's Abdul Wali Khan University, was lynched to death by a mob of angry students on April 13 previous year over rumors that he and his friends committed blasphemy.

A Pakistani anti-terrorism court awarded the death sentence on Wednesday to one person, multiple life sentences to five people and jail terms totalling four years but running concurrently to 25 others for last year's lynching of a student on a university premises in north-western Mardan district.

Judge Fazal Khan Subhan read out the verdicts at the heavily guarded Haripur jail in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa against each of the 57 arrested suspects presented before the court, Dawn news reported.




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

Party supporters also blocked the main road into Islamabad for almost three weeks a year ago in a protest against a law minister they accused of blasphemy.

"My only appeal to the KP police is to arrest the rest of the suspects and bring them to justice as well", the victim's brother, Aimal Khan, told reporters outside the courtroom. He is visiting London to talk at various forums about his son's case and the blasphemy law. The victim's mother said the verdict was very discouraging and the family would challenge it in the high court. Police guard his grave.

Even a rumour of blasphemy can spark mob violence and there have been cases of people misusing the law to settle scores. At least 74 people in Pakistan have been killed for purported blasphemy since 1990, Al-Jazeera reports. His killer, Mumtaz Qadri, who was executed past year, has been hailed as a martyr by religious hardliners.

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