Pakistan May Execute Underage Christian Boy for Liking ‘Blasphemous’ Facebook Post

By Published on September 22, 2016

Pakistani officials arrested a 16-year-old Christian boy Wednesday for allegedly liking a “blasphemous” Facebook post, a crime that might get him executed.

A senior Pakistani police officer told reporters the boy was arrested after one of his Muslim friends on Facebook reported the action as “inappropriate” to police. The post reportedly featured the Muslim city of Mecca, Islam’s holiest city.

The boy’s Muslim friend told police the post was “hurting religious sentiments of Muslims and desecrating the religious place.”

Blashphemous actions, such as speaking ill of the Prophet Mohammed and “wounding religious feelings,” are punishable by death or long sentences in Pakistan. The laws reportedly are overwhelmingly used against Pakistani religious minorities, in some cases are employed to settle personal disputes.

Pakistan’s Christian community has also come under attack by jihadi elements within the country. Seventy-two people were killed when a Taliban affiliated faction bombed a Christian Easter celebration at a public park in March. The Taliban managed to kill more Muslims than Christians during the attack, and the majority of casualties were women and children.

A 2016 Human Rights Watch investigation found 16 prisoners awaiting execution in Pakistan, convicted under its blasphemy laws. One of these inmates is Aasia Bibi, a Christian woman convicted of blasphemy after a personal dispute with another farm worker.

Human Rights Watch notes that Bibi’s conviction came after Muslim farm workers refused to drink from the same water, because her Christianity rendered her “unclean.” She was sentenced to death in 2009, when the court ruled there were “no mitigating circumstances.” When a public official visited Bibi in her cell and denounced her conviction, he was shot to death by his own security detail in 2010.

Often accusations of blasphemy do not even reach Pakistan’s judicial system. A Christian couple was savagely beaten and burned to death in a brick kiln in 2014, after a Pakistani village mob accused them of blasphemy.


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