A Pakistani court sentenced a Muslim woman to death after finding her guilty of blasphemy for insulting Islam’s Prophet Muhammad in text messages she sent to a friend, an official said yesterday.
The woman, Aneeqa Atteeq, was arrested in May 2020 after the man alerted police that she sent him caricatures of the Prophet — considered sacrilegious — via WhatsApp.
Under Pakistan’s blasphemy laws, anyone found guilty of insulting the religion or religious figures can be sentenced to death. While authorities have yet to carry out a death sentence for blasphemy, just the accusation can cause riots.
According to a court order, the woman was also sentenced to 10 years in jail.
Domestic and international human rights groups say blasphemy allegations have often been used to intimidate religious minorities and to settle personal scores. In December, a Muslim mob descended on a sports equipment factory in Pakistan’s Sialkot district, killing a Sri Lankan man and burning his body publicly over allegations of blasphemy.