Hold Pakistan accountable for barbaric ‘blasphemy’ verdicts

Injustice has run amok recently in Pakistan.

Earlier this month, a Pakistani court sentenced a 22-year-old student to death for the victimless “crime” of insulting Islam’s Prophet Muhammad. The same court later sentenced a 17-year-old student to life in prison under the country’s harsh blasphemy laws, only sparing his life because he’s a minor. They were convicted of insulting Muhammad on WhatsApp, an instant messaging platform.

Please click the link below to call or email the U.S. Embassy in Pakistan to help free these young men.

A court in the Pakistani state of Punjab said the students had shared blasphemous pictures and videos with the intention to outrage the religious feelings of Muslims while defense attorneys said the students had been entrapped. Whatever the case, blasphemy is a victimless crime, yet this barbaric prohibition against offending religious sensibilities has long been the catalyst for imposing unjust harm on Pakistani citizens.

The U.S. State Department recently labeled Pakistan a “country of particular concern,” meaning it is responsible for particularly severe violations of religious freedom under the International Religious Freedom Act. The Pakistani Ministry of Foreign Affairs “categorically rejected” the country’s designation and laughably claimed that Pakistan is “a pluralistic country, with a rich tradition of interfaith harmony” that “has undertaken wide-ranging measures to promote religious freedom.” 

Sadly, the actions of the Pakistani judicial system tell a very different story. The unjust sentences of the two men who shared an image of Muhammad underscores that the notion of religious freedom in Pakistan is nothing more than a farce. Pakistani authorities must be held to account for their egregious violations of religious freedoms.

Please take a moment to use our automated system to contact the U.S. Embassy in Pakistan and urge it to help free these two young men who have been unjustly and callously sentenced for victimless actions. You can use our suggested talking points or write your own. For best effect, be polite and concise.