24 March 2017

Detained Pakistani Bloggers Face Blasphemy Charges

An anti-terrorism court in Pakistan has put three online bloggers in the custody of a federal agency for a week so it can investigate blasphemy charges against them and determine whether they should be formally tried and punished.

Pakistan’s Federal Investigation Agency, or FIA, arrested the three men earlier this week as part of an ongoing crackdown on suspects involved in posting blasphemous material on social media.

Authorities say that laptops of the detainees have also been seized for forensic analysis.

Pakistan’s anti-blasphemy laws carry the death penalty for insulting the Prophet Mohammad and imprisonment for life for insulting the Muslim holy book of Quran, though no one has been executed.

The official crackdown was launched after Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif ordered authorities to take urgent steps to rid social media of any anti-Islam content posted by people in Pakistan. [VOA] Read more