Pakistan Court Sentences Six To Death Over Lynching of Sri Lankan Man

A court in Pakistan sentenced six defendants to death and dozens of others to jail terms for their involvement in the lynching of a Sri Lankan citizen.

The court also handed out life sentence to at least seven others, while 67 others were given two-year jail terms. Only one suspect was acquitted.

Sri Lanka citizen Priyantha Kumara was working as a manager and was lynched by a mob in Pakistan’s Sialkot district on December 3, 2021, after a group of workers accused Kumara of blasphemy, saying he had “desecrated Islamic stickers.”

The judge ordered the six prime suspects, who were sentenced to death, to pay Rs 2 lakh as compensation to the family of the deceased and pay another Rs 2 lakh as a fine, according to Dawn.

The lynching drew criticism from various political and academic circles in Pakistan. They had called for swift action against the perpetrators.

Blasphemy is a controversial subject in Pakistan, where insulting the Prophet Muhammad can result in capital punishment and lesser offenses lead to life sentences.

In January, a Pakistani court sentenced a 26-year-old woman to death for allegedly sharing a caricature of a religious figure on the messaging platform WhatsApp.

In February, a mob attacked a mentally ill man in a remote village in the district of Khanewal in Punjab province, stoning him to death for allegedly trying to burn a copy of the Quran.

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