Zuckerberg faces death penalty after “Draw Muhammad” contest

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Facebook LogoFacebook’s founder Mark Zuckerberg may face the death penalty after violating Pakistani law when the social networking site became the host of a controversial contest that asked people to draw the Prophet Muhammad last month.

This resulted on a temporary ban of the site in the predominantly Muslim country on May 19. The ban was lifted on May 31.

According to BBC Urdu, via a translation, and Pro Pakistani, the Pakistani police are investigating the matter after a lawyer petitioned the courts to investigate after claiming that the site violated Section 295-C of the Pakistan Penal Code. However, according to The Register, no charges have been filed.

Section 295-C states:

Use of derogatory remarks, etc., in respect of the Holy Prophet. Whoever by words, either spoken or written, or by visible representation, or by any imputation, innuendo, or insinuation, directly or indirectly, defiles the sacred name of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) shall be punished with death, or imprisonment for life, and shall also be liable to fine.

The contest initiator, held by a German woman under the false name of “Andy”, and co-founders Dustin Moskovitz and Chris Hughes, also face the same punishment.

According to Pro Pakistani, the lawyer who petitioned the case, Muhammad Azhar Sidiqque, says that he is waiting for Pakistani police to contact Interpol to arrest the owners of Facebook and “Andy” in order to trial them in Pakistan. The same site also says that the Deputy Attorney General will bring this issue to the attention of the United Nations’ General Assembly.

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