[18], Pakistan’s legal system mostly follows the Hanafi school of thought. The offences relating to religion were first codified by India's British rulers in 1860, and were expanded in 1927. 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. She has keen interest in undertaking research and advocating for various issues in international law and corporate law. Church of Pakistan moderator urges government to curb “misuse of blasphemy law” WCC Commission of the Churches on International Affairs . [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. The full bench of the Federal Shariat Court accepted the plea and directed the federal government to make the necessary changes in s.295-C, failing which would still cause the changes to take place automatically. The vast majority of these cases were lodged for desecration of the Koran - far fewer for blasphemy against the Prophet Muhammad. 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. § 295-B forbids defiling the Quran. Video'Change has arrived’: Why Thailand is in crisis, In pictures: Snowy scenes in many parts of UK. Some of the reasons for the misuse of this law lie in the vagueness of what actually constitutes blasphemy. * On Saturday, the Pakistan Muttahida Ulema Council exonerated six Christian workers accused of blasphemy. The Muslims rose in anger and soon Rajpal was killed. 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. The punishment of blasphemy: “10 years imprisonment or fine will be imposed if some one found guilty of blasphemy” Later on in 1927 with few amendments more clauses were added in blasphemy law. [35], The blatant misuse of blasphemy laws has created an environment in which the laws have been used as a cover for perpetrators of mob violence at the hands of which many have suffered. [5] By introducing such provisions, the British government was aiming to establish public order, harmony and governance, thus such provisions fell within the domain of siyasah, as exemplified by the ‘Rajpal incident’ illustrated below. Therefore, apostasy alone will not attract the death punishment if the apostate repents and re-embraces Islam. 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. The British Era Blasphemy Laws continues to be the hallmark of the human rights violations in Pakistan, as it has been widely misused against the minority communities and fellow Muslims. The maximum punishment under these laws ranges from one year to 10 years in jail, with or without a fine. The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) - a voluntary organisation - has been documenting blasphemy cases for decades. [27], Another objection often raised against this law is the frighteningly minimal burden of proof imposed on those accusing another of blasphemy. Most of the additions to these laws which specifically target religious minorities, … The position of Hanafis seems to be in consensus with other jurists with regard to the death penalty as punishment for blasphemy for Muslims only, and not for non-Muslims, for the reason that blasphemy by a Muslim would amount to apostasy. The status quo is still in place. None has made much progress - principally because of the sensitivities over the issue, but also because no major party wants to antagonise the religious parties. 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. 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. Kasani and Marghinini[25] hold a similar view with regard to the underlying principle. Thus, mens rea was an important aspect of such crimes. The blasphemy law in Pakistan . For these reasons, allegations are often uncritically accepted by the police.[34]. Critics say the fact that minorities figure so prominently in the cases shows how the laws are unfairly applied. Until the government of Pakistan repeals or reforms its blasphemy and anti-Ahmadi laws, it is encouraged to enhance the role of the Ministry of Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony to foster interfaith dialogue, empower religious minority groups, provide security to marginalized groups and facilitate meetings between leaders and scholars of various religions and sects.[40]. 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. [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. 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]. When Punjab Governor Salman Taseer - a prominent critic of the law - was assassinated by his bodyguard in 2011, Pakistan was divided, with some hailing his killer as a hero. In 1982, another clause prescribed life imprisonment for "wilful" desecration of the Koran, the Muslim holy book. From 1967 to 2014, over 1,300 people have been accused of blasphemy, with Muslims constituting most of those accused. Several sections of Pakistan's Criminal Code comprise its blasphemy laws. 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. 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. Also we will keep … The writer is an Islamabad based LLB (Hons) student at Bahria University and is a former intern at Courting The Law. When the bodyguard who killed Taseer, Mumtaz Qadri, was executed in 2016, thousands turned out for the funeral. A Pakistani man on trial for blasphemy has been shot dead in a courtroom, in the latest violent incident connected with the country’s blasphemy laws. .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. 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 BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. 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 "." Are Laws Banning Full Face Covering in France and Belgium Legal? 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’. 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. The procedures of evidence for tazir punishments are contained in the Qanun-e-Shahadat Order 1984.[37]. Pakistan's blasphemy laws carry a potential death sentence for anyone who insults Islam. 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. 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. R number for UK falls to between 0.8 and 1, .css-gw44ni-IconContainer{display:inline-block;height:1em;width:1em;vertical-align:-0.125em;margin-right:0.25em;}play'Change has arrived’: Why Thailand is in crisis. ORAL STATEMENT International Humanist and Ethical Union UN Human Rights Council, 39th Session (10th – 28th September 2018) “In Pakistan, it has become very easy to use religion for silencing people, especially human rights defenders. Critics say they have been used to persecute minority faiths and unfairly target minorities. Blasphemy laws in Pakistan: Case Study of Mst. From 1967 to 2014, over 1,300 people have been accused of blasphemy, with Muslims constituting most of those accused. It was withdrawn in February 2011 under pressure from religious forces as well as some opposition political groups. Blasphemy laws in Pakistan von Tariq, Fatima und eine große Auswahl ähnlicher Bücher, Kunst und Sammlerstücke erhältlich auf AbeBooks.de. 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. 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. The existing evidentiary procedures for blasphemy laws can also be amended where a blasphemous act attracts tazir punishment. 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. Pakistan inherited these laws when it came into existence after the partition of India in 1947. Why is fishing important in Brexit trade talks? Unreported World is in Pakistan, investigating the country’s blasphemy laws. In Pakistan, the merciless assassin: The blasphemy law. 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. 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). § 295-C forbids defaming the Islamic prophet Muhammad. The blasphemy laws. 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. 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 … 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. An Overview of Pakistan’s Blasphemy Laws. 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. Pakistan inherited these laws when it came into existence after the partition of India in 1947. 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. 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. [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. Subscribe to the WCC news! [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]. 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. Many believe the law, as codified by the military regime of General Zia-ul Haq back in the 1980s, is in fact straight out of the Koran and therefore is not man-made. They also “embolden” vigilantes prepared to threaten or kill the accused, it says. However, statutory rights are available to individuals who have been denied bail if their trials or appeals have not been heard within a year. The article proposes certain recommendations and suggestions to improve the status and efficient functioning of blasphemy law if it is not to be repealed. “There is overwhelming evidence that Pakistan’s blasphemy laws violate human rights and encourage people to take the law into their own hands. Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Centres. [29] In addition, there are no penalties for false allegations, making the law an easy tool to use to threaten anyone. 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'. Therefore, the Hanafis deem the offence of blasphemy by a non-Muslim fit to be governed by tazir and thus under the doctrine of siyasah as it disturbs the peace (aman) violating the rights of the community. Booklet. Muslim jurists regard that the legal status of an accused non-Muslim will depend on the existence and nature of the contract of peace which he or she has concluded for living within a Muslim state and without which he or she will be unable to enjoy the protection of Islamic law or have Muslim courts enforce his or her legal rights. Blasphemy Laws in Pakistan A Historical Overview Center for Research and Security Studies (CRSS), Islamabad House#36-B, Street#30, F-8/1 Tel: 051-8314801-03, Fax: 051-8314801 www.crss.pk . The UK warns chances of a breakthrough are "receding", as it negotiates with the EU over business rules. Asia Bibi v The State. “Blasphemy” is punishable by death under law, and accusations often followed by mob brutality with fatal consequences. 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. According to him, Islamic law prescribed death as punishment for blasphemy (s.295-C), whereas the existing provision prescribed imprisonment. 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. Unlike the Islamic law of evidence, tazir does not emphasize on having eye-witnesses. Most of the cases had been initiated against Ahmadis and Christians, but also Muslims, including orthodox Sunni Muslims. (Buch (kartoniert)) - portofrei bei eBook.de 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. 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. Communique on Pakistan blasphemy laws. Amid wider sectarian and interreligious tension, Pakistan’s harsh blasphemy laws are a serious threat to peace and social stability. 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.