A man accused her of sharing blasphemous messages and caricatures on WhatsApp. She says it’s the man’s vendetta after she rejected his advances.
by Massimo Introvigne
Even Muslims in Pakistan are not safe from the anti-blasphemy law, which now has the death sentence as mandatory penalty.
On January 19, 2022, Aneeqa Ateeq, a 26-year-old woman was sentenced to death by the Trial Court of Rawalpindi after she had been accused by a man called Hasnat Farooq of sharing via WhatsApp with him blasphemous messages and caricatures of Prophet Muhammad and one of his wives.
She told a different story. Aneeqa, a married woman, said she had met Farooq through a multiplayer online game, and had continued to correspond with him via WhatsApp until his advances annoyed her. When she told him that she was not interested, Farooq tricked her into sending the messages and images for which she has now been sentenced, then in March 2020 reported her to the police.
Judge Adnan Mushtaq did not accept her defense, and sentenced her to death by hanging for blasphemy.
The case shows the dangers of blasphemy law for all Pakistani citizens. The case has been sent to Lahore High Court for confirmation, and Aneeqa’s lawyers plan to seek the woman’s acquittal there.