Scholar Junaid Hafeez sentenced to death on blasphemy charges.


MULTAN -- A Multan district and sessions court sentenced on Saturday university lecturer Junaid Hafeez to death on charges of blasphemy. Hafeez was a visit lecturer at Bahauddin Zakariya University's English Literature Department. He was booked for blasphemy and arrested on March 13, 2013. The court began hearing his case in 2014. Additional Sessions Judge Kashif Qayyum convicted him of blasphemy on Saturday. He sentenced him to death and a fine of Rs0.5 million under Section 295- C of the Pakistan Penal Code. He also sentenced him to life imprisonment under Section 295-B, and 10 years' rigorous imprisonment and a fine of Rs100,000 under Section 295-A.

In the judgment, the judge said that Section 382- B (reduction of period of sentence of imprisonment. The length of any sentence of imprisonment imposed upon an accused person in respect of any offence shall be treated as reduced by any period during, which he was detained in custody for such offence) will not be applicable in this case. He is incarcerated in the high security ward at the Central Jail in Multan. Hafeez's lawyer Rashid Rehman was shot dead at his office in 2014, soon after taking on his case.

According to the HRCP, no one was willing to defend Hafeez until Rehman stepped forward. His parents had appealed to former chief justice Asif Saeed Khosa to look into their...

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