An anti-terrorism court in Pakistan on Monday sentenced six people to death for defamation against a Sri Lankan plant manager, a local official said.
Pakistan’s Lahore Anti – Terrorism Court has sentenced six people to death for handcuffing a Sri Lankan citizen. # பிரியந்தகுமார In Sialkot, Pakistan (December 2021 crime). Seven were sentenced to life imprisonment and 76 to two years in prison. pic.twitter.com/M1GtkwqEFa
– Aditya Raj Kaul (dAdityaRajKaul) April 18, 2022
Last year, Brijantha Kumar was beaten to death by a mob of about 100 people at a factory in East Pakistan for allegedly tearing up a poster quoted from the Muslim holy book, the Koran. The body of the deceased was then cremated.
The incident shook Pakistan and the international community has condemned what happened. The case was discussed behind closed doors in the prison. Prosecutor Nadim Sarwar said the trial lasted about a month.
# BreakingAn anti-terrorism court in Lahore has announced the verdict in a case of gang-rape. # Sri Lanka Citizen # பிரியந்தகுமார On false accusations # Contempt Tendon #Sialcode Last December # Pakistan # Sri Lanka Details of the sentence will be announced soon https://t.co/A3TxbOw6UD pic.twitter.com/t1EVbmXBqL
– Mubashir Jaiti (@Xadeejournalist) April 18, 2022
Nine were sentenced to life imprisonment and seventy-two to two years in prison each, Sarwar added.
The culprits were identified on the basis of cell phone records. Videos of the incident – uploaded on the internet by the killers – also surfaced on social media. The judgment may be appealed.
Under Pakistani laws prohibiting blasphemy, violations of Islam or the Prophet Muhammad could result in the death penalty. Defendants complain that the law is often used against religious minorities or for personal revenge.
More than seventy people in the country were killed on suspicion of blasphemy before being brought to justice. Last month, at least three teachers at an Islamic school beheaded a colleague accused of blasphemy. The incident caused a stir nationally.