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A timeline of the blasphemy charges against scholar Junaid Hafeez


A timeline of the blasphemy charges against scholar Junaid Hafeez


University lecturer Junaid Hafeez has been sentenced to death on charges of blasphemy by a Multan court on Saturday.

Junaid Hafeez is an academic and former visiting lecturer at the Department of English Literature of the Bahauddin Zakariya University in Multan.

On March 13th 2013, Hafeez was booked for blasphemy charges and arrested.

In 2014, the court began hearing his case.

According to Amnesty International, Hafeez was charged with blasphemy over his Facebook uploads. He was in the process of getting his graduate degree in English Literature when we was arrested.

Since June 2014, Hafeez has been in solitary confinement in a high security ward at the Central Jail in Multan.

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.

According to the court’s short judgement, “All the sentences shall run consecutively and the accused would not be entitled to the benefit of Section 382-B CrPC because in case of blasphemer, this court has got no circumstance for taking [a] lenient view and it is also not permitted in Islam.”

Under Section 382-B of the Criminal Procedure Code, the period of detention of a prisoner has to be considered in the prison term when a person is convicted by a trial court.

Defence attorney Shahbaz Gormani told the Associated Press his client was wrongly convicted and that the verdict would be appealed.

Rashid Rehman, Hafeez’s lawyer 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 son’s case.

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