Pakistan sentences Christian man to death for ridiculing Prophet Muhammad on WhatsApp

A Pakistani Christian man has been sentenced to death for blasphemy after he sent a Muslim friend a poem on WhatsApp that insulted Islam, a lawyer said on Friday (Sept 15), AFP reports. Nadeem James was charged in July last year after his Muslim friend Yasir Bashir complained to police that he received a poem on the messaging app that was derogatory towards the Prophet Mohammed and other holy figures.

Blasphemy is a criminal offence in Muslim-majority Pakistan, and insults against the Prophet are punishable by death. Most cases are filed against members of minority communities.

In March, Pakistan’s ex-Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif ordered the immediate removal and blocking of all online content deemed to be “blasphemous” to Islam from social media – and for those responsible to be prosecuted.