ASIA/PAKISTAN - Blasphemy on social networks: a Christian arrested, other five suspects

Monday, 30 May 2016 religious minorities   religious freedom   blasphemy   human rights   women   mass media  

The voice

Sheikhupura (Agenzia Fides) - Christian Usman Masih was arrested by the police in the village of Nabi Pura, near Sheikhupura, Punjab, on charges of blasphemy after a complaint was filed by some Muslims who accuse him of posting blasphemous material on social networks like Facebook. This is what Agenzia Fides learns by lawyer Aneeqa Maria Anthony, a Christian and responsible of the NGO "The Voice" who follows cases of Christians discriminated and unjustly accused.
According to the lawyer's reconstruction, in the village of Nabi Pura there were tensions between groups of Christians and Muslims: these threatened to burn Christian homes due to alleged acts of blasphemy. Groups of young Christians and Muslims began to photograph girls and to post photos on Facebook with demeaning or disrespectful comments. Offensive comments to the Prophet Muhammad apparently appeared on accounts belonging to Christians. Young Christians report that these posts belong to a man named Hannan, who lives in Dubai: according to the mechanism of the Social network, his posts also appear on the accounts of local Christians, who do not have any responsibility.
The fact is that the police, after the complaint, arrested a Christian and investigated another five. "The Voice" has found proof of disrespectful comments toward women, but not acts of blasphemy. "Transforming the story in a religious question is totally wrong," said lawyer Anthony to Fides. "We hope that the police verifies the facts and helps maintain peace and security in the village", the lawyer concludes. (PA) (Agenzia Fides 30/05/2016)

The Voice