Much controversy has been generated in the last hours in various parts of the world, particularly on the western side, after it became known that a Pakistani court could sentence an 8-year-old to death if they consider that he actually committed an act considered “blasphemy”.
The boy, who belongs to a Hindu family living in Rahim Yar Khan district, has been charged with intentionally desecrating a seminary in Bhong city, Punjab, while urinating in his library, unaware that this would be considered an “act of blasphemy.”
Several local media reported that the minor was imprisoned for a week after the seminary cleric reported to the police who found a “young Hindu” urinating on the floor of the building.
And if that was not enough, the boy’s family and acquaintances had to flee from the place where they lived and hide after a mob of Muslims retaliated for the boy’s act, attacking and burning the Hindu temple.
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“He is not even aware of such blasphemy problems and has been falsely misled in these matters. He still doesn’t understand what his crime was and why they kept him in jail for a week, “said one of his relatives, who decided to remain anonymous, in an interview with The Guardian.
“We have left our stores and our work, the whole community is scared and we fear a backlash. We don’t want to go back to this area. We do not see any concrete and meaningful action being taken against the culprits or to protect the minorities that live here, ”he added.
The blasphemy charges brought against a child have shocked legal experts, who say the move is unprecedented. No one that young has ever been accused of blasphemy before in Pakistan.
Ramesh Kumar, a lawmaker and head of the Hindu Council of Pakistan, explains that “the attack on the temple and the blasphemy charges against the eight-year-old has really shocked me. More than a hundred homes in the Hindu community have been abandoned for fear of an attack ”.
However, blasphemy laws have been used disproportionately in the past against religious minorities in Pakistan. Although no executions for blasphemy have been carried out in the country since the death penalty for the crime was introduced in 1986, suspects are often attacked and sometimes killed by mobs.
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