Mashal's father reminds Imran Khan of his promise after ATC verdict

Violet Powell
February 9, 2018

A Pakistani court on Wednesday convicted 31 people over the campus lynching of a university student who was falsely accused of blasphemy, and sentenced one of them to death, a defense lawyer said. He was a student of Abdul Wali Khan University in Mardan and was killed by a mob in the premises of the university on April 13, 2017.

Barrister Ameerullah Chamkani told Reuters one of the 31 accused had been sentenced to death, five were jailed for life and the other 25 were jailed for four years. Protests erupted in several cities. An additional 25 were given lesser sentences, he added, saying he planned to file an appeal against the decision.

Hundreds of students and some university staff members marched through the campus searching for him.

According to the report, President of university employees, Ajmal Mayar, had revealed during probe that about a month before the incident, PSF President Sabir Mayar and a varsity employee, Asad Katlang, had met him and said they wanted to remove Mashal from their way as he was a threat to their group.

"Imran Khan had promised he would rename Swabi University after Mashal Khan, but that has yet to happen".

The capital punishment has been awarded to prime accused Imran Sultan.

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"Those who have been acquitted can be clearly seen in video footage".

Khan was stripped of his clothes, viciously beaten and shot by his fellow students for false allegations that he shared blasphemous content online. The crowd hit his body after his death. Police have found no evidence to suggest that the lynched victim had committed any act of blasphemy and regarded the death as a premeditated murder. He was the only person who received a death sentence.

There was a huge outpouring of solidarity and grief.

The killing of 23-year-old Mashal Khan, which was filmed and posted to social media, ignited national outrage in Pakistan, where blasphemy cases have increasingly sparked violence in recent years.

Many people in Khan's home village stayed away from his funeral, fearing being attacked by hardliners.

Dozens of people accused of blasphemy have been murdered in recent years in Pakistan. Moreover, blasphemy is considered a serious crime in Pakistan and can often lead to a death penalty.

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