Last updateTue, 17 Mar 2015 2pm

#Outrageous: Pakistani court setences Geo News owner (and Veena Malik) to 26 years in prison for 'Blasphemy'

The owner of Pakistan’s largest media group has been handed a 26-year jail term after he was found guilty of blasphemy, reports say.

Mir Shakeel-ur-Rehman, owner of Geo News, was sentenced by an ‘anti-terror’ court in Gilgit, northern Pakistan on Tuesday after the TV station aired a broadcast showing people dancing to a song about the wedding of Prophet Muhammad’s daughter.

The channel faced a slew of blasphemy complaints about the show, provoking accusations that the country's draconian blasphemy law was being used to silence critics of the military.

The charges were brought soon after the station publicly blamed the shooting of one of their top journalists on the military's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) spy agency.

The army denied the accusations.

"The malicious acts of the proclaimed offenders ignited the sentiments of all the Muslims in the country...which cannot be taken lightly and there is need to strictly curb such tendency," the court said in its verdict.

The channel's owner, the host of the morning show and two guests - including actress Veena Malik - were ordered to pay fines of $16,600, surrender their passports and sell their properties.

The order is unlikely to be implemented because verdicts by courts in the northern Gilgit-Baltistan region do not apply to the rest of Pakistan.

The News, a daily newspaper owned by Mr ur-Rehman, announced on its front page on Wednesday that it would appeal to the Supreme Court against both the verdict and sentence.

Pakistani media has become increasingly free and vocal in recent years but public criticism of the army or the ISI is still largely taboo.

Mr ur-Rehman’s sentencing is the latest twist in a long-running standoff between Geo and the army.

The verdict also exposes the divisions between Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who supports the channel, and the army, which has ruled the country for more than half of its history.

In June, the state media regulator shut Geo News for 15 days and imposed a $101,500 fine.

The channel also publicly apologised for reporting against the ISI.

Pakistan's blasphemy law allows anyone to file a complaint alleging their religious feelings have been hurt for any reason.

The ultimate punishment for blasphemy is death.

Rights groups say the law is increasingly being used to settle personal scores. This year has seen a record number of blasphemy cases and increasing violence against the accused.



Related Articles

Photo Gallery- Featured

  • latest Post

  • Most Read

Addmotor Electric Bike| Electric bike shop / electric bicycle shop Electric bike review| Electric trike| Fat tire electric bike| Best electric bike| Electric bicycle/E bike| Electric bikes for sale| Folding electric bike| Electric mountain bike| Electric tricycle Mid drive electric bike| Juiced Bikes Pedego Rad-Power

Tomtop| Online shop| Online Einkaufen

地產代理/物業投資| 租辦公室/租寫字樓| 地產新聞| 甲級寫字樓/頂手| Grade A Office| Commercial Building / Office building| Hong Kong Office Rental| Rent Office| Office for lease / office leasing| Office for sale| Office relocation

DecorCollection European design furniture| sofa hk| sofas| beds| coffee tables| dining tables| dining chairs| sideboards| furniture hk| Cattelan Italia| Koinor

International schools hong kong| Wycombe Abbey| private school hong kong| English primary school Hong Kong| primary education| boarding school Hong Kong| Wycombe Abbey School

邮件营销| 電郵推廣| 邮件群发软件| Email Marketing| 搜尋引擎優化 SEO

QR code scanner| inventory management system| labelling| Kiosk| warehouse management|