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Pakistan: 10 years jail for blasphemy

January 12, 2013

After a trial spread over 14 months and conducted in an uneasy environment, Additional District and Sessions Judge Raja Pervez Akhtar jailed a blasphemy accused for 10 years and imposed a fine of Rs200,000 on Tuesday evening.

The verdict left the lawyers of both groups baffled and they now intend to go to the Lahore High Court — one would file an appeal for getting the sentence quashed while the other would file a review petition.

Convict Ghulam Ali Asghar, a resident of Chinji village in Talagang tehsil, was booked on Nov 17, 2011, on a charge of blaspheming the Holy Prophet (PBUH) by misquoting a Hadith in Punjabi language.

Judge Raja Pervez Akhtar acquitted Ghulam Ali Asghar of the allegation levelled under 295-C (the section which forbids blaspheming the Holy Prophet [PBHU]), but imprisoned him for ten years under 295-A (which forbids outraging religious feelings) and also imposed a fine of Rs200,000. The convict will have to undergo an additional jail term of six months if he does not pay the fine.

DAWN.COM

This would be a cruel and unusual punishment, if it was unusual.

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