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A 30-year-old Muslim man has been sentenced to death for posting “blasphemous” content on Facebook in Pakistan.

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Taimoor Raza was sentenced in Bahawalpur in eastern Punjab province after being arrested in 2016 for posting offensive content about Sunni leaders and the wives of Prophet Mohammed on the popular social networking platform.

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It is the first time anybody has been handed the death penalty for blaspheming on social media and follows a high-profile crackdown by the government of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. 

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Raza was arrested after playing blasphemous and hate speech material on his phone at a bus stop in Bahawalpur, where a counter-terrorism officer arrested him and confiscated his phone. The material obtained from the phone led to Raza’s conviction, he added.

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