US State Dept ‘Deeply Concerned’ With Junaid Hafeez’s Death Sentence
The United States Department of State has expressed concern over the death sentence awarded to academic Junaid Hafeez for blasphemy.
In a tweet, the US Ambassador For International Religious Freedom Sam Brownback said that he was deeply concerned with the Junaid Hafeez blasphemy verdict.
Brownback stated that after seven years of solitary confinement, the Pakistani government needed to ensure a fair review of the case as it proceeded to appeal.
Deeply concerned with the #JunaidHafeez blasphemy verdict. After almost seven years of solitary confinement, the #Pakistan government needs to ensure an expeditious and fair review of the case as it proceeds to appeal.
— Ambassador Sam Brownback (@IRF_Ambassador) December 23, 2019
Blasphemy accused Junaid Hafeez, who has been in prison for more than 6 years, has been sentenced to death by a local court in Multan last week.
The convict, a Fulbright scholar, was accused of blasphemy on social media by a religious group at Bahauddin Zakriya University in Multan, where he taught.
Hafeez’s lawyer had told Naya Daur in September that the prosecution was trying to swing the case in their favor and get him convicted by hook or by crook. The prosecution was also allegedly using delaying tactics so as to avoid the verdict. They were also reports of the judge being pressured by a group of lawyers who wanted Hafeez to be convicted.