88 sentenced after lynching of factory manager accused of blasphemy in Pakistan

“This decision is a clear message that false accusations of blasphemy are damaging the image of Pakistan and that people are suffering extreme violence for crimes they did not commit. »

Last December, the lynching of Priyantha Diyawadanage, director of a factory in Sialkot, Pakistan, had upset not only the country, but also the international community. Imran Khan, then Prime Minister of Pakistan, denounced on Twitter "a day of shame for Pakistan".

La Lahore High Court has just sentenced 88 people, out of the 89 people tried in connection with this death. From 88 condemned, 6 are sentenced to death, 9 to life imprisonment, the others were sentenced to terms ranging from 2 to 5 years.

Accused of desecrating posters bearing the name of the Prophet Muhammad, the factory manager was lynched by the mob and tortured to death, then his body was burned in the street. Some people then took selfies with his corpse.

For Naveed Walter, president of Human Rights Focus Pakistan (HRFP), this verdict is a “courageous decision to bring the culprits to justice”, but also a “clear message”, in the context of the laws on blasphemy in Pakistan.

“This decision is a clear message that false accusations of blasphemy are damaging the image of Pakistan and that people are suffering extreme violence for crimes they did not commit. »

MC

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