Target: Mamnoon Hussain, President of Pakistan
Goal: Don’t imprison Pakistani actress and associates for a controversial television scene
The freedom of speech and expression have become increasingly restricted in Pakistan, especially for controversial topics such as religion. Recently, a Pakistani actress, her husband, and an owner of a television program were given 26-year jail sentences for broadcasting a mock wedding between the actress and her husband using religious music about the wedding of the Prophet Muhammad’s daughter in the background of the showing.
This is not the first time that producers of the Geo News T.V. channel were faced with opposition from the government for their conduct on T.V. Previously, the station publicly blamed the military’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) spy agency for shooting one of the station’s journalists. Consequently, Geo News was shut down for 15 days and had to pay a fee of $101,500.
The accused are looking to appeal the court’s jail sentences. Pakistan’s blasphemy law has been criticized for allowing the government to give such harsh punishments to individuals, such as in the actress Veena Malik’s case. The blasphemy law allows anyone to file complaints against individuals for any offense they may find to their religious views. The government has also been using the blasphemy law to condemn individuals for exposing their criticisms of the government and military. Those accused of blasphemy may even face death as punishment.
The heavy sentences of 26 years in prison given to the actress, her husband, and the Geo News T.V. show’s owner are extremely unreasonable. Please sign the petition below to urge the president of Pakistan to overturn this court’s jail sentence, and to ensure that the individuals involved do not face any punishment.
Dear President Mamnoon Hussain,
The freedom of expression and speech is something that is precious to individuals in expressing their views on various aspects of society. Hearing about the sentencing of the actress Veena Malik, her husband, and an affiliated televise official was quite disconcerting. These individuals were not intending to harm the public with their mock wedding scene on television, and the sentence of 26 years in prison for their harmless actions is just blasphemous.
Please ensure that the jail sentences for these individuals are dropped and ensure that they are not charged with any crimes and not given any sentences. The accused individuals do not deserve to face such harsh punishments for their mock wedding on the television.
[Your Name Here]
Image Credit: Djarter via Wikimedia Commons