Tendance Coatesy

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Pakistan Asks Facebook to Track Down ‘Blasphemers’.

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Image result for pakistan blasphemy protests

“Enemies of Humanity” Says Pakistan Interior Minister.

Radio Pakistan ‘reports’:

NISAR VOWS TO BLOCK  BLASPHEMOUS CONTENT ON SOCIAL MEDIA

Interior Minister asks Facebook administration to cooperate in removal and blocking of the blasphemous contents.

Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan says those responsible for blasphemy will be dealt with an iron hand.

Talking to media after inaugurating citizen facilitation center in Islamabad on Thursday, he said the culprits of blasphemy are enemies of humanity.He said that we have asked Facebook administration to cooperate in removal and blocking of the blasphemous contents.

 The Interior Minister said that government is making all out efforts to block blasphemous material on social media. He said eleven people who commented on such posts are being interrogated.

He urged all Muslims countries to practice unity against sordid conspiracies against Islam as the matter of blasphemy hurts feelings of all Muslims.

He said the government will take strict action against blasphemous contents and will avail all the possible options.

The Minister said that cooperation from the US Administration is also being sought through US embassy in Pakistan in this regard.

He urged the international community to have immense consultations on the issue of blasphemy as it has become a critical matter for the world.

He said ridiculing a religion in the name of freedom of expression will not be allowed

Al Jazeera reports,

Islamabad, Pakistan – Pakistani authorities have contacted social media website Facebook for help in investigating the posting of “blasphemous content” on the platform by Pakistanis, according to a statement.

Blasphemy is an extremely sensitive issue in Pakistan. Insulting the Prophet Muhammad carries a judicial death sentence and, increasingly commonly, the threat of extrajudicial murder by right-wing vigilantes.

At least 68 people have been killed in connection with blasphemy allegations since 1990, according to a tally maintained by Al Jazeera.

“There have been positive developments in the matter of the Pakistani government’s contact with Facebook’s management regarding the blocking of blasphemous content,” an interior ministry spokesperson said in a statement on Thursday.

Facebook would be sending a representative to visit Pakistan with regard to the matter, the statement said, and the government has appointed an official to liaise directly with the social networking website regarding the censoring of certain content.

In a statement quoted by the AP news agency, Facebook said it viewed government requests with care keeping in mind “the goal of protecting the privacy and rights of our users”.

The move comes after Nawaz Sharif, Pakistan’s prime minister, ordered a ban on all online content deemed to be “blasphemous” on Tuesday.

“Ridiculing a religion in the name of freedom of expression should not be allowed,” Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, Pakistan’s interior minister, said on Thursday.

11 People under Threat.

Khan is spearheading the government’s efforts to have the material blocked.

Eleven people have been identified as having posted “blasphemous” comments or material on Facebook and will be acted against, the minister said. The identities of the 11 people in question were not immediately clear.

The authorities’ move comes after a senior judge at the Islamabad High Court called upon the government to block all blasphemous content online, “even at the cost of blocking entire social media”.

The petition at the High Court accuses five rights activists who were abducted in early January of running Facebook pages that had posted content deemed to be blasphemous.

No evidence has been shared directly linking the five activists to the Facebook pages in question, but during their three-week disappearance the men were the subject of a vast social media campaign accusing them of blasphemy.

“There is overwhelming evidence that Pakistan’s blasphemy laws violate human rights and encourage people to take the law into their own hands.

Audrey Gaughran, Amnesty International’s Director of Global Issues.”

Amnesty: Pakistan: How the blasphemy laws enable abuse.

Al Jazeera continues,

Pakistan’s telecommunications regulator currently blocks hundreds of websites, including those run by ethnic Baloch dissidents, as well as sites containing pornography or material deemed to be blasphemous.

It is empowered under a 2016 law to block any content “if it considers it necessary in the interest of the glory of Islam or the integrity, security or defence of Pakistan or any part thereof, public order, decency or morality”.

In January 2016, Pakistan ended a three-year ban on video-sharing website YouTube, also over blasphemous content, after the content provider agreed to launch a localised version that would streamline the process for content to be censored for viewers in Pakistan.

Asad Hashim is Al Jazeeras Web Correspondent in Pakistan. He tweets @AsadHashim.

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Written by Andrew Coates

March 17, 2017 at 1:51 pm

3 Responses

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  1. The Beeb correspondent states:

    “Critics say blasphemy laws, which allow the death penalty in some cases, are often misused to oppress minorities.”

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-39300270

    I’m not clear how a blasphemy law can be “misused” – as if there are “good” blasphemy practices and “bad” blasphemy practices. Their very existence is an abomination in respect to free speech and critical thinking.

    alex ross

    March 17, 2017 at 4:59 pm

  2. BBC Asian Network asks,

    “What is the right punishment for blasphemy?”

    John Rogan

    March 17, 2017 at 5:32 pm

  3. There is much religious racism in that region, that it’s hard not to feel sickened at this outrage at “blasphemy”.

    Youhanabad, Pakistan (CNN)Gunmen carrying AK-47 assault rifles stand guard on a tiny, dusty street, but they’re not protecting a military installation or a prison. They’re armed volunteers guarding a church.
    This is the area of Youhanabad on the outskirts of the city of Lahore. It’s the most densely-populated Christian neighborhood in the whole of Pakistan.

    Last year, two bombers struck local Catholic and Protestant churches killing more than a dozen people, injuring many more. Protests by the Christian community only led to more violence rather than security.

    “In recent years, Pakistani Christian communities have been regularly targeted with violence.
    More than 100 homes were set on fire by outraged Muslims in Badami Bagh, Lahore, in March 2013 after a Christian man was accused of speaking against the Muslim prophet Mohammad.
    In September of the same year, 81 people were killed and more than 100 injured in twin explosions outside a church in Peshawar.”

    April 2016.

    http://edition.cnn.com/2016/04/04/asia/pakistan-attack-religious-intolerance/

    Andrew Coates

    March 17, 2017 at 6:01 pm


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