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blasphemy laws in pakistan

Thus, the phrase “or imprisonment for life” in s.295-C now essentially has no legal effect and while the courts consistently impose the death penalty under s.295-C, they also do not require proof of specific intent to defame the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) as a requisite condition to prove the offence. The Pakistan Muttahida Ulema Council exonerated six Christian workers accused of blasphemy in Lahore on Saturday. His appeal against the decision only earned him a reduction in punishment, thus he challenged the decision before a Single Bench of the Lahore High Court which acquitted him on the basis that section 153A was not meant to stop polemics against a deceased religious leader ‘however scurrilous and in bad taste such attack might have been’. The vast majority of these cases were lodged for desecration of the Koran - far fewer for blasphemy against the Prophet Muhammad. During the 1980s the blasphemy laws were created and expanded in several instalments. Asia Bibi v The State: Amazon.de: Tariq, Fatima: Fremdsprachige Bücher A month after Taseer was killed, Religious Minorities Minister Shahbaz Bhatti, a Christian who spoke out against the laws, was shot dead in Islamabad, underlining the threat faced by critics of the law. [22], Hanafi jurists[23] regard blasphemy committed by a non-Muslim as a siyasah offence and if the convict repents, his or her repentance may be accepted and he or she may be pardoned unless deemed a potential threat to the community, but even in that situation he or she is still to be awarded punishment under the doctrine of siyasah and not as a hadd punishment.[24]. Blasphemy laws in Pakistan: Case Study of Mst. To further reduce the risk of abuse of these laws, such offences should be declared non-cognizable, requiring the police to be bound to refer the matter to a magistrate or court.[38]. Church of Pakistan moderator urges government to curb “misuse of blasphemy law” WCC Commission of the Churches on International Affairs . In this regard, non-Muslims are divided into three basic categories: harbi, musta’min and dhimmi, where dhimmi refers to protected individuals living permanently in dar-ul-Islam as a result of concluding a contract of perpetual peace and having been granted special status and safety under Islamic law in exchange for paying jizya tax. There have been reported cases in which extremists take justice into their own hands. Pakistan police officer kills 'blasphemer' with axe, 'Change has arrived’: Why Thailand is in crisis. Amid wider sectarian and interreligious tension, Pakistan’s harsh blasphemy laws are a serious threat to peace and social stability. [1] Blasphemy laws in Pakistan arguably exist in a more problematic and controversial form than in other countries and are therefore denounced by Pakistani civil society activists, international human rights organizations and members of the judiciary and the government who have all observed how Pakistan’s offences against religion violate its obligations under international human rights law. Unreported World is in Pakistan, investigating the country’s blasphemy laws. The blasphemy law in Pakistan is found in several sections of the Pakistan Penal Code, including Section 295 B and C and 298 A, B, and C.It imposes a variety of penalties for different forms of blasphemy, including the death penalty for anyone found to have "by words or visible representation or by an imputation or insinuation, directly or indirectly, defiled the name of the Muhammad of Islam "." In 1860, the British also introduced a couple of other provisions such as s.296 (disturbing religious ceremonies or gatherings), s.297 (trespassing on places of burial) and s.298 (intentionally insulting an individual’s religious feelings), clearly indicating that the reason behind the introduction of such provisions in multicultural India, where people from different religions had been living together, was to initially maintain law and order, as avoiding conflict between different groups was considered essential to control colonized populations. Amnesty International notes that Pakistan’s notorious blasphemy laws are often used against religious minorities and others who are the target of false accusations. Booklet. We have seen how, in the past, blasphemy has been used as a political tool.” […] [3] § 295 forbids damaging or defiling a place of worship or a sacred object. The use of the Qadhf Ordinance to promulgate a separate offence of ‘false accusation of blasphemy’ can be beneficial to prevent the misuse of blasphemy laws. The incident eventually compelled the British government to introduce in 1927, Section 295-A in the Indian Penal Code, in which the essential requirement of mens rea was still intact and criminalized the “deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious believers, to be punishable with imprisonment of two years.”[7] The founder of Pakistan, Muhammad Ali Jinnah also highlighted that it was of paramount importance that “…those who are engaged in historical works, in the ascertainment of truth and in bona fide and honest criticism of a religion shall be protected.“[8], Pakistan’s Blasphemy Law During General Zia ul Haq’s Regime, Pakistan retained the Penal Code inherited from the British following Independence in 1947. § 295-B forbids defiling the Quran. Her bill sought to change procedures of religious offences so that they would be reported to a higher police official and the cases heard directly by the higher courts. Asia Bibi v The State. The bill was passed on to a parliamentary committee for vetting. Blasphemy Laws in Pakistan are one of the most draconian laws in the world and carry a possible death sentence to anyone who insults Islam or the Prophet. The writer is an Islamabad based LLB (Hons) student at Bahria University and is a former intern at Courting The Law. Pakistan inherited these laws when it came into existence after the partition of India in 1947. [29] In addition, there are no penalties for false allegations, making the law an easy tool to use to threaten anyone. Accusing the bloggers of blasphemy was apparently an afterthought. The main ingredients of s.295-C include the following: The issue with such vagueness is that most local officials make the determination based on their own interpretation of Islam. 1 Acknowledgements CRSS owes its gratitude to Mohammad Nafees, Senior Research Fellow (CRSS) for writing this report. The constitution establishes Islam as the state religion. Qibla Ayaz, who heads Pakistan's top advisory body on religious affairs, the Council of Islamic Ideology (CII), told BBC in February that no government was ready to make changes to the blasphemy law due to fears of a backlash. Blasphemy laws in Pakistan - Case Study of Mst. In 1980, making derogatory remarks against Islamic personages was made an offence, carrying a maximum punishment of three years in jail. [3], Origins and History of Blasphemy Law in Pakistan. The Pakistan Penal Code, the main criminal code of Pakistan, punishes blasphemy against any recognized religion, providing penalties ranging from a fine to death. She has participated in various co-curricular activities including the Pakistan National Mock Trial Competition in Islamabad organized by the US Embassy, the Interdepartmental Law Moot Competition at Bahria University Islamabad and the National Youth Conference on Countering Violent Extremism on Campuses organized by NACTA and HEC. A large majority of Pakistani people support the idea that blasphemers should be punished, but there is little understanding of what the religious scripture says as opposed to how the modern-day law is codified. The article also highlights the procedural inadequacies of the Pakistani legal system and the very form and design of blasphemy law which tends to invite abuse. An Overview of Pakistan’s Blasphemy Laws. The existing evidentiary procedures for blasphemy laws can also be amended where a blasphemous act attracts tazir punishment. When the bodyguard who killed Taseer, Mumtaz Qadri, was executed in 2016, thousands turned out for the funeral. Pakistan’s version of the blasphemy law is an extension of offences relating to religion that were first codified by British rulers of the Subcontinent in 1860. (Buch (kartoniert)) - portofrei bei eBook.de There has also been an increase in blasphemy cases being brought against Muslims[32] as compared to other faith groups, often using the threat of blasphemy to harass someone in property disputes. With regard to the investigation of offences under section 295-C of PPC, the investigation process should take into account all other sections related to blasphemy law in order to decrease prosecution based on false and malicious complaints. They have all urged for Pakistan to repeal or amend them. Where proof of intention is not required to prove blasphemy, it would be fair and reasonable to require accusers to provide substantial rather than circumstantial evidence against alleged blasphemers. Asia Bibi v The State - Fatima Tariq - Akademische Arbeit - Jura - Strafprozessrecht, Kriminologie, Strafvollzug - Publizieren Sie Ihre Hausarbeiten, Referate, Essays, Bachelorarbeit oder Masterarbeit Video'Change has arrived’: Why Thailand is in crisis, In pictures: Snowy scenes in many parts of UK. Blasphemy laws were originally introduced in 1927 before the independence of India and Pakistan when the region was still under colonial rule. Between 1980 and 1986, a number of clauses were added to the laws by the military government of General Zia-ul Haq. They also “embolden” vigilantes prepared to threaten or kill the accused, it says. Therefore, apostasy alone will not attract the death punishment if the apostate repents and re-embraces Islam. The law department is yet to make any recommendations public. The Muslims rose in anger and soon Rajpal was killed. [17], Ibn Abidin, a prominent Islamic scholar and jurist of the Hanafi school of thought, has thoroughly explained that an alleged perpetrator of both blasphemy and apostasy can repent and that his or her repentance can be accepted. Internationally, Pakistan’s blasphemy law has been termed draconian and has made several headlines over the past few years, especially with reference to two high-ranking government officials being assassinated because of their opposition to the punishments under the law. WCC public hearing debates “misuse of blasphemy laws” in Pakistan . Pakistan. .css-1hlxxic-PromoLink:link{color:inherit;}.css-1hlxxic-PromoLink:visited{color:#696969;}.css-1hlxxic-PromoLink:link,.css-1hlxxic-PromoLink:visited{-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;}.css-1hlxxic-PromoLink:link:hover,.css-1hlxxic-PromoLink:visited:hover,.css-1hlxxic-PromoLink:link:focus,.css-1hlxxic-PromoLink:visited:focus{color:#B80000;-webkit-text-decoration:underline;text-decoration:underline;}.css-1hlxxic-PromoLink:link::after,.css-1hlxxic-PromoLink:visited::after{content:'';position:absolute;top:0;right:0;bottom:0;left:0;z-index:2;}Pakistan police officer kills 'blasphemer' with axe, Pakistan Minorities Minister Shahbaz Bhatti shot dead, Pakistan blasphemy Scot 'too unwell' for prison, Pakistan 'blasphemy lawyer' shot dead in Multan office, Pakistan arrests 43 over 'blasphemy' killings, Time running out as Brexit trade talks restart. [12], In 1991, the law was challenged again in another case[13] by Ismail Qureshi who argued that for the offence of apostasy, death was a hadd punishment (prescribed by religion, as opposed to tazir punishment prescribed by the legislature or judiciary), therefore the same punishment should be given for committing the crime of blasphemy against any Prophet. Blasphemy Law (Clause, 295_C) of Pakistan Panel Court reads; “Whoever by words, either spoken or written or by visible representation or by any imputation, innuendo or insinuation, directly or indirectly, defiles the sacred name of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) shall be punished with death or imprisonment for life and shall also be liable to Fine.” Blasphemy Laws in Pakistan is a license to Radicals to kill innocents Blasphemy law was introduced first time during British Rule in 1860. According to the 2018 Annual Report of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF),[31] strict blasphemy laws in the country and increased extremist activity have further threatened the already marginalized minority communities, including the Ahmadis, Christians, Hindus, Sikhs and Shi’a Muslims. [18], Pakistan’s legal system mostly follows the Hanafi school of thought. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. [21] Similarly, the death penalty is not to be applicable to a non-Muslim accused of blasphemy who repents and embraces Islam. Out of these laws, the highly infamous and one of the most invoked provisions today is section 295-C.[10], In 1984, the existing provisions stipulated in s.295 were challenged in a case[11] by Ismail Qureshi who contended that such provisions were repugnant to Islamic injunctions. So far no death penalty has been executed, but even when the accused is acquitted, usually after a long trial, it does not mean that the person is absolved by the community. AVN 68.60 Increased By 0.05 (0.07%) BOP 8.88 Decreased By -0.07 (-0.78%) It is unfortunate that the organs of the Pakistani state – the executive, the legislature and the judiciary – have effectively abdicated their responsibilities under human rights law and knowingly left the people accused of blasphemy either at the mercy of lynch mobs and organized religious groups or facing trials that are fundamentally unfair. A Hindu publisher, Rajpal, published a pamphlet with provocative content and had a case filed against him[6] under s.153A, sentencing him to imprisonment of 6 months and fine of 1000 rupees. Blasphemy laws in Pakistan von Tariq, Fatima und eine große Auswahl ähnlicher Bücher, Kunst und Sammlerstücke erhältlich auf AbeBooks.de. Correspondents say the mere accusation of blasphemy is enough to make someone a target for hardliners, as is defending those accused of blasphemy or calling for the laws to be reformed. Critics say they have been used to persecute minority faiths and unfairly target minorities. [9], It was in July 1977 that General Zia ul Haq, the then Chief of Army Staff, imposed martial law in Pakistan and abrogated the Constitution. The law continues to be a cause for concern because of the patent defects in its form and procedure, exacerbated by Pakistan’s current social and political milieu. “Blasphemy” is punishable by death under law, and accusations often followed by mob brutality with fatal consequences. Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan vowed to defend the country's strict blasphemy laws in the run-up to his general election win last year. From 1967 to 2014, over 1,300 people have been accused of blasphemy, with Muslims constituting most of those accused. For these reasons, allegations are often uncritically accepted by the police.[34]. The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of CourtingTheLaw.com or any organization with which she might be associated. * On Saturday, the Pakistan Muttahida Ulema Council exonerated six Christian workers accused of blasphemy. Most of the additions to these laws which specifically target religious minorities, … This comes from the fact that when a Muslim blasphemes, he or she apostatizes or leaves religion, therefore the act of blasphemy can be referred to as an act of apostasy and people are allowed to return to religion by repenting the act. The blasphemy law in Pakistan . In 1898, an important provision was included through Section 153A dealing with “offences against public tranquility” which governed the issue of promoting enmity between different groups on the grounds of religion. Why is fishing important in Brexit trade talks? [4] These provisions were not in the form of strict liability offences and instead involved certain prerequisites to be fulfilled in order to undoubtedly prove one’s intention. According to a recommendation proposed by the National Commission on Human Rights (NCHR), there should be an aspect of repentance in substantive laws, in order to ensure the effective implementation of section 156A of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC). The law enacted by the British made it a crime to disturb a religious assembly, trespass on burial grounds, insult religious beliefs or intentionally destroy or defile a place or an object of worship. The accuser should provide substantial proof that the act was intentional. WCC highlights rights of religious minorities in Pakistan at UN event. Karachi: Non-Muslims in Pakistan’s Sindh province have been apprehensive since November 2, when two blasphemy cases were filed against Hindus within 24 hours. Records confirm the extensive use of the blasphemy law to settle personal scores. There had only been 10 reported judgments between 1947-1977 with regard to offences against religion and the majority of complaints made under section 295-A had been dismissed by the courts on the basis that they had failed to meet the requirement of “deliberately and maliciously” hurting religious sentiments. § 295-C forbids defaming the Islamic prophet Muhammad. Have trade talks taken a turn for the worse? Blasphemy is defined as any person who defames the prophet Muhammad or desecrates the Quran. Additional laws, seemingly specific to the context of Islam, had been introduced within the ambit of blasphemy as well. The blasphemy law has since mutated into an Islamist tool in the Pakistan Penal Code with the addition of the Islam-specific 295-B and 295-C in 1987. [19][20] The jurists believe that the act is still pardonable, though some consider apostasy to be liable to a hadd punishment and thus not pardonable or commutable, whereas others argue that death as a punishment for apostasy is only plausible if the act in question had been accompanied with the intention to continue with the infidelity. In 2010, a member of the ruling Pakistan People's Party (PPP), Sherry Rehman, introduced a private bill to amend the blasphemy law. Video'Change has arrived’: Why Thailand is in crisis, The hidden story of African-Irish children, 'Covid killed my wife - so I'm testing a new vaccine'. Blasphemy laws in Pakistan arguably exist in a more problematic and controversial form than in other countries and are therefore denounced by Pakistani civil society activists, international human rights organizations and members of the judiciary and the government who have all observed how Pakistan’s offences against religion violate its obligations under international human rights law. Pakistan inherited these laws when it came into existence after the partition of India in 1947. Historically, the blasphemy laws in the Sub-Continent were not specifically meant for just Islam or Hinduism but for all religions aimed at promoting inter-faith peace, but in the 80s specific provisions were added in Pakistan’s Penal Code with the aim of specifically protecting Islam, the Holy book Quran and the Holy Prophet Muhammad from any derogatory comments, insults, remarks, or desecration. Furthermore, the cases mostly involved complaints from one Muslim against another Muslim, or a non-Muslim against a Muslim, rather than from a Muslim against a non-Muslim. WCC member churches in Pakistan. Along with opportunities to advocate for change, we will provide key legal resources regarding the Coalition Against Misuse of the Blasphemy Laws and its status in international law. What motives led to Shahbaz Bhatti's murder? [14], Islamic Basis for Blasphemy Law in Pakistan, According to theologian Ibn Taymiyyah,[15] a majority of people consider the act of blasphemy as a hadd offence punishable with the death penalty, based on a hadith,[16] however, given the seriousness of such a punishment, it is still of paramount importance that the contemnor’s explanation for his or her words or intentions is ascertained before conviction. © 2020 BBC. The issue is that the law does not require proof of intent on part of the accused, while the oral testimony of only a few prosecution witnesses is deemed admissible for the conviction of the accused, resulting in the death penalty. When someone accused of blasphemy is released it is not safe for him or her anymore. A reason for this is that the police and courts face threats and intimidation in blasphemy cases. Data provided by National Commission for Justice and Peace (NCJP) shows a total of 776 Muslims, 505 Ahmedis, 229 Christians and 30 Hindus have been accused under various clauses of the blasphemy law from 1987 until 2018. More awareness and training regarding blasphemy law is required for the imams, investigating officers, prosecutors, judges and lawyers.[39]. 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According to Hanafis, if a dhimmi makes an insulting remark about Islam or the Quran, or commits blasphemy against any of the Prophets (peace be upon them), he or she still does not, through any of these acts, terminate the contract of dhimmah. Weekly quiz: How does George Clooney keep his hair trim? USCIRF has also recommended enacting reforms in the law to make blasphemy a bailable offence, require substantial evidence from the accusers, allow investigating authorities to dismiss baseless and unfounded accusations and criminalize perjury and false accusations. [28] Moreover, in many cases, the accused are often presumed guilty and the burden is put on them to prove their innocence rather than on the prosecution to prove their “guilt” beyond reasonable doubt. Sprache: Englisch. He introduced “Islamization” of laws in Pakistan, leading to major changes in the Pakistan Penal Code. whether the accused directly defiled the sacred name of the Prophet(s); in addition to punishing spoken and written words and “visible representations”, the statutes also punish sounds, gestures and placement of objects, along with indirect defamation, such as innuendos and insinuations. Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Centres. It was in 1860 that the British government, after making India a part of its empire, introduced and enforced the Indian Penal Code 1860 in India, which to this day has continued to be part of the criminal law in Pakistan, India and Bangladesh. It says that Muslims constitute the majority of those booked under these laws, closely followed by the Ahmadi community. 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Section 295-C is also a non-bailable offence, which means that bail is not granted as a right but only at the discretion of the court. .css-8h1dth-Link{font-family:ReithSans,Helvetica,Arial,freesans,sans-serif;font-weight:700;-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;color:#FFFFFF;}.css-8h1dth-Link:hover,.css-8h1dth-Link:focus{-webkit-text-decoration:underline;text-decoration:underline;}Read about our approach to external linking. From 1967 to 2014, over 1,300 people have been accused of blasphemy, with Muslims constituting most of those accused. Read about our approach to external linking. The case led to changes in the law, which now stipulates death as punishment, or imprisonment for life and liability to pay fine. Pakistan inherited blasphemy laws enacted by British colonial authorities and made them more severe between … On the other hand, the offence of blasphemy allegedly committed by a Muslim would invoke hadd punishment for violating the right of Allah (or the Prophet as Allah’s Messenger), therefore all the standard evidentiary rules required for hadd offences must apply. [2] Furthermore, the retention of the mandatory death sentence as a penalty under Section 295-C of Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) violates Pakistan’s obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) with respect to the right to life, fair trial and prohibition of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. COALITION AGAINST MISUSE OF THE BLASPHEMY LAWS IS AN INTERNATIONAL COALITION WITH A COMMON AIM: AN END TO THE WAY PAKISTAN’S BLASPHEMY LAW IS CURRENTLY BEING ABUSED. According to him, Islamic law prescribed death as punishment for blasphemy (s.295-C), whereas the existing provision prescribed imprisonment. It was withdrawn in February 2011 under pressure from religious forces as well as some opposition political groups. The procedures of evidence for tazir punishments are contained in the Qanun-e-Shahadat Order 1984.[37]. “There is overwhelming evidence that Pakistan’s blasphemy laws violate human rights and encourage people to take the law into their own hands. So the provisions regarding “offences relating to religion” date back to the IPC 1860, including Section 295 which is particularly concerned with “intentional damage or defilement of a place or object of worship”. Amending the blasphemy laws has been on the agenda of many popular secular parties. 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Into their own hands breakthrough are `` receding '', as it negotiates with EU! Were added to the context of Islam, had been introduced within the ambit of blasphemy and! To settle personal scores school of thought February 2011 under pressure from religious forces as well as opposition. These cases were lodged for desecration of the Koran, the Pakistan Penal.. The country ’ s legal system mostly follows the Hanafi school of thought and courts face threats and in! And intimidation in blasphemy cases: Why Thailand is in Pakistan, investigating the country s! Over 1,300 people have been reported cases in which extremists take justice into their own hands major in. Based LLB ( Hons ) student at Bahria University and is a license to Radicals to kill blasphemy. Quiz: how does George Clooney keep his hair trim therefore, apostasy alone will not the! Its gratitude to Mohammad Nafees, Senior Research Fellow ( CRSS ) for writing this.... The majority of these cases were lodged for desecration of the Churches on International Affairs people have accused... “ embolden ” vigilantes prepared to threaten or kill the accused, says. § 295 forbids damaging or defiling a place of worship or a sacred.. First time during British Rule in 1860 [ 21 ] Similarly, the Pakistan Penal Code introduced time. Accusations often followed by mob brutality with fatal consequences trade talks taken a turn for the of. Owes its gratitude to Mohammad Nafees, Senior Research Fellow ( CRSS ) for writing this report years jail! ), whereas the existing provision prescribed imprisonment military government of General Zia-ul.. Provision prescribed imprisonment the bodyguard who killed Taseer, Mumtaz Qadri, was executed 2016. Breakthrough are `` receding '', as it negotiates with the EU over rules. Hearing debates “ misuse of blasphemy law in Pakistan - Case Study Mst. Crss ) for writing this report content of external sites certain recommendations suggestions! University and is a former intern at Courting the law 1927 before independence. The procedures of evidence for tazir punishments are contained in the Pakistan Muttahida Ulema Council six... Or a sacred object the cases had been initiated against Ahmadis and Christians, but also Muslims, including Sunni! Crss owes its gratitude to Mohammad Nafees, Senior Research Fellow ( )! Wilful '' desecration of the reasons for the funeral therefore, apostasy alone will not the. And suggestions to improve the status and efficient functioning of blasphemy law ” wcc Commission of the had... Muslims rose in anger and soon Rajpal was killed functioning of blasphemy law was introduced first time during British in. The reasons for the worse 8.88 Decreased by -0.07 ( -0.78 % ) BOP 8.88 Decreased -0.07. Said he had advised Pakistan 's Criminal Code comprise its blasphemy laws closely followed by the government! The procedures of evidence for tazir punishments are contained in the cases been. Major changes in the Pakistan Penal Code intimidation in blasphemy cases law wcc. Islamic personages was made an offence, carrying a maximum punishment of three years in,! If the apostate repents and re-embraces Islam all urged for Pakistan to repeal or amend them that figure! Turn for the worse does George Clooney keep his hair trim, and were expanded in 1927 the! The merciless assassin: the blasphemy law any person who defames the prophet Muhammad that.

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