A Pakistani court on Saturday sentenced a university professor to death for blasphemy under a law that critics say is often used to target minorities and liberal activists .
Junaid Hafeez , 33 , was arrested in March 2013 for allegedly posting derogatory remarks against Prophet Mohammed on social media .
Blasphemy is a hugely sensitive issue in conservative Muslim- majority Pakistan , where laws against it carry a potential death sentence . Even unproven allegations have led to mob lynchings and vigilante murders .
Hafeez’ s sentence was announced in central city of Multan , where he was a university professor at the time of his arrest , and his counsel Asad Jamal slammed the decision as “most unfortunate ” .
“ We will appeal against this verdict , ” Jamal told AFP .
“ Junaid Hafeez ’ s death sentence is a gross miscarriage of justice and the verdict … is extremely disappointing and surprising , ” Amnesty International ’ s Rabia Mehmood said .
“ The government must immediately release him and drop all charges against him , ” she added . “The authorities must also guarantee his safety and that of his family and legal representatives . ”
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Hafeez ’ s lawyer was killed in 2014 after receiving death threats during a hearing.
About 40 people convicted of blasphemy are on death row in Pakistan , according to a 2018 estimate by the US Commission on International Religious Freedom.
The acquittal last October of Asia Bibi , a Christian woman who had spent more than eight years on death row for blasphemy , provoked violent protests across Pakistan , leaving large swathes of the country paralysed .
Bibi now lives in Canada with her family .
While many cases involve Muslims accusing Muslims, rights activists have warned that religious minorities – particularly Christians – are often caught in the crossfire , with blasphemy charges used to settle personal scores .
(AFP via Punch)
R. Kelly Taken Off Suicide Watch In Jail
R.Kelly has been taken off suicide watch following a face-off with federal authorities in the US.
The singer had filed the lawsuit against the prison he was kept in after being convicted for sex crimes.
Kelly claimed he was being subjected to “cruel and unusual punishment” which violates his 8th Amendment rights, after he was put on suicide watch at Brooklyn’s Metropolitan Detention Center.
He insisted that he wasn’t even thinking of killing himself and claimed he was placed in these harsh conditions because he is a celebrity.
However, the Metropolitan Detention Center Warden Heriberto H. Tellez, who was named as one of the defendants in the lawsuit, told TMZ that he has taken a decision to remove Kelly from suicide watch following a “clinical assessment.”
No further details on the assessment were provided.
Kelly was sentenced to 30 years in prison last Wednesday following his conviction last year on federal racketeering and sex trafficking charges.
‘I Escaped After Two Weeks In jail’ – Convicted Serial Killer, Cultist [Photos]
Oluwatosin Ikuhemeyin, a notorious cultist who terrorized the Igbokoda community and escaped from jail in Owo in March 2022 was on Monday recaptured by operatives of the Ondo State Police Command.
The convict was said to have broken out of jail just after arriving at the facility within two weeks.
Speaking while parading the suspect, the State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Funmilayo Odunlami, claimed that detectives had been tracking the dreaded cultist known as ‘4G’ due to his shooting prowess.
Odunlami claimed that the arrested cultist, alongside six other inmates who were on the command’s wanted list, escaped from Owo Correctional Centre.
“The suspect, Tosin Ikuhemeyin, a.k.a. 4G, had been on the wanted list of the command over his role in multiple cult battles in the state that have resulted in the death of certain members of another cult organization.
“He was a member of the Aye cult group and was captured in Igbokoda, where he was hiding out. He will soon be charged in court.”
Speaking on his arrest, the 24-year-old cultist stated that “before I was caught and taken to an Owo correctional facility, I was a member of the Aye cult and the group’s head in Igbokoda.
“After being imprisoned for two weeks, I was detained this morning in Igbokoda, but I managed to escape from Owo Prison with the help of six other inmates.
“I met with some inmates in the prison who had been plotting an escape before I arrived, and they successfully incorporated me into their schemes under the leadership of one Dada.”
Court Jails UK Ex-convict One Year For Defrauding Hotel
Justice Mojisola Dada of the Ikeja Special Offences Court, Lagos, on Friday sentenced a United Kingdom ex-convict, Ahmed Adebola, to one year imprisonment for defrauding Radisson Blu Hotel of N4.4 million.
Justice Dada sentenced the defendant after he pleaded guilty to an amended one count of obtaining by false pretence, offence which contravenes Section 312 of the Criminal Laws of Lagos State, 2011.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission had, on May 30, charged the convict on an amended one count of obtaining by false pretence.
The EFCC counsel, Ahmed Yerima, said that the Radisson Blu Hotel Management wrote a petition against the defendant to the commission, after he defrauded the hotel of the sum of N4.4million.
The prosecution submitted that the EFCC received a report from the hotel sometime in December 2020 and alleged that the defendant, who had lodged in their facility, off and on, made payments through credit cards and American Express in favour of the hotel and the payments were recalled by the unified payment system.
Yerima said, “Based on the information gotten between December 15 and 16, 2020, the defendant checked into the hotel again and was arrested based on the earlier allegations against him.
“A search was conducted on him and nine different credit cards, bearing different names, were recovered from him in which six out of the nine were American Express.
“Two United Kingdom driver licences were recovered from him at the point of arrest, all of which contained the same information, including the picture of the defendant and the only difference was the name.
“The defendant said that the cards were given to him by one Jim Collins, whom he met in the UK and he was aware that the credit cards were not legally issued and that he did not know the owners of the card.”
The prosecution further said that an investigation was extended to the National Crimes Agency in the United Kingdom to confirm the authenticity of the cards, the driver licences and the criminal record of the defendant, if any existed.
“The team received a response from the NCA stating that the driver licences were forged documents, including the credit card.
“The NCA also said that the defendant was sentenced to 15 months imprisonment in the UK for offences bordering on fraudulent bank card, motoring offences and others which later resulted in his deportation,” the prosecution said.
Delivering judgement, Justice Dada sentenced the defendant to one year imprisonment.
Dada said, “The defendant is hereby sentenced to one year jail term, having been on bail till now or pay an option of fine of N2 million.
“All the items recovered from him is hereby forfeited to the Federal Government and must write an understatement never to go back to the same crime again.”
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