An eight-year-old boy is facing the death penalty in Pakistan after he became the youngest person to ever be charged with blasphemy. The Hindu child is currently being held in police custody with his family.
It was reported by The Guardian that the boy urinated on a carpet in the library of a religious school last month.
A member of the boy’s family, who are in an undisclosed location, stated, “He is not even aware of such blasphemy issues and he has been falsely indulged in these matters. He still doesn’t understand what his crime was and why he was kept in jail for a week.”
“We have left our shops and work, the entire community is scared and we fear backlash. We don’t want to return to this area. We don’t see any concrete and meaningful action will be taken against the culprits or to safeguard the minorities living here.”
After the child was granted bail, a Hindu temple in Bhung came under attack by a mob who alleged that the boy had committed blasphemy.
Many Hindus living in the community have fled their homes as a result of the unrest, which required the deployment of troops.
Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan condemned the attack while adding that the government will be restoring the temple.
No judicial execution has been carried out in Pakistan under the blasphemy law, which was made punishable by death in 1986. However, more than 75 people have been murdered between 1987 and 2017 for blasphemy by street vigilantism and lynchings.