Content Regulation / Censorship, National Security
The Sunday Times v. United Kingdom (No. 2)
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Saqlain Haider was arrested for posting hateful messages against the companions of the Prophet Mohammed on Facebook. He was charged with inciting sectarian hatred and dissemination of inciting material under the the Anti-Terrorism Act sections 9-A and 11-W. On November 21, 2015, he was convicted of violating the Anti-Terrorism Act and received a 13 year sentence and a fine of a PRs. 250,000 (roughly $2,400).
Global FoE could not identify official legal and government records on the case and information on the case was derived from secondary sources. Global FoE notes that media outlets may not provide complete information about this case. Additional information regarding legal matters will be updated as an official source becomes available.
Saqlain Haider, a Shia, was arrested on October 27, 2015, after local residents complained that he posted hateful messages against the companions of the Prophet Mohammed on Facebook. The charges against him were brought under the Anti-Terrorism Act, sections 9-A and 11-W.
Section 9 penalizes intentional incitement of sectarian hatred or committing acts that are likely to cause hatred. Section 11-W penalizes the printing, publishing, or dissemination of any material that incites religious, sectarian, or ethnic hatred.
Haider was released on bail on October 28 but on November 21, the Anti-Terrorism Court convicted him and passed a 13 year imprisonment sentence onto him as well as a PRs. 250,000 (roughly $2,400) fine. If the fine is not paid, he will face additional five months in prison.
Haider confessed to the crimes. The prosecution also brought in witnesses in support of the case against Haider. On the basis of the testimonies and the confession, the Anti-Terrorism Court convicted Saqlain and sentenced him to 13 years in jail.
Decision Direction indicates whether the decision expands or contracts expression based on an analysis of the case.
Bytes for All, a Pakistani human rights organization, commented that although courts have convicted persons of blasphemy for online comments, this was the first ever conviction of a person for posting sectarian materials over Facebook.
Global Perspective demonstrates how the court’s decision was influenced by standards from one or many regions.
Section 9 penalizes intentional incitement of sectarian hatred or committing acts that are likely to cause hatred.
Section 11-W states penalizes printing, publishing or dissemination of any material that incites religious, sectarian or ethnic hatred.
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