Tag: Sentenced

Pakistani Christian Sentenced to Death for Allegedly Sending Blasphemous Text Messages in 2013


Lawyer Claims “No Evidence” Presented to Support Court’s Decision

International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that Asif Pervaiz, a 37-year-old Pakistani Christian, has been sentenced to death for allegedly sending blasphemous text messages in 2013. According to Pervaiz’s attorney, the death sentence was announced by the court despite there being “no evidence” to implicate his client in the case.

Earlier today, Saif-ul-Malook, the attorney representing Pervaiz in court, tweeted that his client had been sentenced to death under Pakistan’s blasphemy laws. “Asif Pervaiz sentenced to death by trial court at Lahore for committing blasphemy although there was no such evidence,” Malook’s tweet read.

The court’s decision comes almost seven years after the initial blasphemy accusation was made against Pervaiz by a Muslim co-worker in October 2013.

On October 2, 2013, a Muslim named Saeed Ahmeed Khokar accused Pervaiz of sending him blasphemous text messages from his mobile phone. Blasphemy charges under Sections 295-A, 295-B, and 295-C of Pakistan’s Penal Code were registered against Pervaiz at the Green Town Police Station in Lahore.

When Pervaiz became aware of the charges, he went into hiding. On October 9, after a week of searching for Pervaiz, police arrested several of Pervaiz’s relatives, including two brothers-in-law and his mother, Naseem Akhtar. According to Akhtar, police told her that they would kill Pervaiz when they found him unless she helped them locate her son.

Akhtar led the police to the home of Waseem Anwar, Pervaiz’s brother. There, police beat Waseem until he confessed to knowing where Pervaiz was hidden. On October 10, 2013, Pervaiz was arrested by police in Sahiwal.

“Asif Pervaiz sentenced to death by trial court at Lahore for committing blasphemy although there was no such evidence,” Saif-ul-Malook, Pervaiz’s attorney, tweeted.

According to Pervaiz’s family, Pervaiz and Khokar were co-workers at a garment factory named Shami Textile, located in the Youhanabad neighborhood of Lahore. At work, Khokar often pressured Pervaiz to convert to Islam, which Pervaiz refused. Prior to October 2, Pervaiz reportedly lost his mobile phone’s SIM card and did not request the company to deactivate it. According to Pervaiz’s family, Khokar used the lost SIM card to send the blasphemous text messages he used to register the false accusation against Pervaiz.

In Pakistan, false accusations of blasphemy are widespread and often motivated by personal vendettas or religious hatred. Accusations are highly inflammatory and have the potential to spark mob lynchings, vigilante murders, and mass protests.

Since Pakistan added Section 295-B and 295-C to the country’s blasphemy laws in 1987, the number of blasphemy accusations has skyrocketed. Between 1987 and 2017, 1,534 individuals in Pakistan have been accused of blasphemy. Out of that 1,534, 829 accusations (54%) were made against religious minorities. With Christians only making up 1.6% of Pakistan’s total population, the 238 accusations (15.5%) made against Christians are highly disproportionate.

Currently, 25 Christian are imprisoned on blasphemy charges in Pakistan, including Asif Pervaiz. These 25 Christians are defendants in 22 blasphemy cases represented at various levels of the judicial process in Pakistan.

ICC’s Regional Manager, William Stark, said, “We here at International Christian Concern are saddened by the court’s decision to sentence Asif Pervaiz to death under the blasphemy laws. We are especially concerned that the death sentence was made with reportedly no evidence being presented to support the blasphemy allegation against Asif. The abuse of Pakistan’s blasphemy laws must be curbed and false allegations must be rooted out and punished. Too often these laws have been a tool in the hands of extremists seeking to stir up religiously motivated violence against minority communities. Without real reform, religious minorities, including Christians, will face more false blasphemy accusations and the extreme violence that often accompanies these accusations.

Blogs to Follow:

Persecution.org (September 2020)  Pakistani Christian Sentenced to Death for Allegedly Sending Blasphemous Text Messages in 2013

Florida Man Sentenced to Federal Prison for Posting Death Threats to AFA on Facebook


Chase Davis of Pompano Beach, Florida, will serve time in a federal prison for publicly threatening to kill employees of the American Family Association (AFAwww.afa.net), last year.

On May 22, 2019, Davis posted a pair of threatening messages on the AFA Facebook page: “i am coming to tupelo unexpected with a group of people and we are going to kill every single person who runs your group,” and “you are the most disgusting people in america. i have put together a group to have you pieces of [expletive] obliterated into dust. yes, i literally mean killing all of you. you people are nothing but disgusting, warn out, and old excuses of human life.”

AFA reported the threats to Facebook but was told that the threat was not a policy violation. AFA appealed the decision to no avail.

AFA also immediately reported the criminal threats to the United States Attorney’s Office, which resulted in an investigation by the FBI and a federal grand jury indictment in the Northern District of Mississippi in the summer of 2019.

On July 20, 2020, Judge Sheri Polster Chappell, United States Judge for the Middle District of Florida, sentenced Davis on the federal criminal conviction he received for the murderous threats he directed toward AFA. Judge Chappell sentenced Davis to serve 6 months in prison followed by an additional 3 years of federal probation, during which he will be strictly monitored and supervised by federal authorities. In addition, he was ordered to pay $1,440 in restitution for costs AFA incurred to protect its employees after the threat. As a part of the sentence, Mr. Davis must also participate in drug and mental health treatment and perform 400 hours of community service in lieu of a fine.

Buddy Smith, AFAsenior vice president, said AFA sought not vengeance but justice in the matter. He added that providing for the safety of the ministry’s employees was paramount, and that he hoped the sentence would serve as a deterrent to anyone in the future who would threaten harm to AFA or any other organization. 

“AFA is grateful for the protective services provided by our federal law enforcement and court system over this threat to the employees of our organization,” Smith said. “AFA will continue to affirm that all persons are individuals of sacred worth and are created by God in His image.

“AFA supports a biblical worldview that God created us by design as male and female and that marriage is between one man and one woman,” he continued. “With all the sexual brokenness in our society and in the church today, AFA will not be intimidated into silence. We will continue to boldly proclaim the redemptive hope of the gospel and that a relationship with Jesus Christ is the only answer to the culturally controversial questions about gender and sexuality.” 

Regarding the sentencing of Mr. Davis, U.S. Attorney William C. Lamar said, “It is important to protect free speech, but when it crosses the line and becomes threats to harm others on the basis of race, religious beliefs, political affiliations or other protected reasons, we will use federal laws to hold those individuals accountable for their actions.”

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jeffrey F. Michelland.

Blogs to Follow:

AFA.net; Justice.gov (July 2020) American Family Association: Florida Man Sentenced to Federal Prison for Posting Death Threats to AFA on Facebook; Florida Man Sentenced For Making Death Threats On Facebook Posts

Bosnian National Sentenced for Providing Material Support to Terrorists


Nihad Rosic, aka Yahya Abuayesha Mudzahid, 32, of Utica, New York, appeared on July 9, 2020, before U.S. District Judge Catherine D. Perry and Rosic was sentenced to 96 months in prison for conspiring to provide material support to terrorists and providing material support to terrorists. 

Rosic was remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshal to begin his sentence immediately.

According to court documents, Nihad Rosic, Armin Harcevic, Ramiz Zijad Hodzic, his wife Sedina Unkic Hodzic, Jasminka Ramic and Mediha Medy Salkicevic conspired with others to support the activities of Abdullah Ramo Pazara and others, including a conspiracy to commit outside the United States an act that would constitute the offense of murder or maiming if committed in the special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States. 

Rosic intended to and did provide support and resources to Pazara, knowing that he and his co-conspirators would use the support and resources in furtherance of their combat against Syrian government forces and others. 

Rosic’s support consisted of money, which was used by his co-conspirators to purchase supplies such as U.S. military uniforms, rifle scopes, combat boots, tactical gear, clothing, firearms accessories, range finders, and other supplies useful to fighters engaged in combat in Syria and elsewhere.

Co-defendant Sedina Unkic Hodzic is awaiting sentencing; Armin Harcevic was sentenced to 66 months in prison; Ramiz Zijad Hodzic was sentenced to 96 months in prison; Jasminka Ramic was sentenced to 36 months in prison and Mediha Medy Salkicevic was sentenced to 78 months in prison.

This case was investigated by the St. Louis FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), U.S. Postal Inspection Service, St. Louis Metropolitan and St. Louis County Police Departments.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Matthew Drake, Howard Marcus and Kenneth Tihen of the Eastern District of Missouri and Trial Attorneys Dave Smith and Danielle Rosborough of the Department of Justice’s Counterterrorism Section.

Blogs to Follow:

Justice.gov (July 2020) Bosnian National Sentenced for Providing Material Support to Terrorists

Former DIA Analyst Sentenced for Leaking Classified Information to Journalists


A former employee of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) was sentenced today to 30 months in prison for leaking classified information to two journalists in 2018 and 2019.

“When our nation’s secrets are published, in print or online, those secrets are made available to all of our adversaries,” said G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. “Frese’s choice to betray his oath to his country had real consequences and caused actual harm to the safety of this country and its citizens.”

According to court documents, Henry Kyle Frese, 31, of Alexandria, was employed by DIA as a counter-terrorism analyst from February 2018 to October 2019, and held a Top Secret//Sensitive Compartmented Information security clearance.

United States government agencies have confirmed that in the spring and summer of 2018, News Outlet 1 published eight articles, all authored by the same journalist (Journalist 1) that contained classified NDI that related to the capabilities of certain foreign countries’ weapons systems.

These articles contained classified intelligence from five intelligence reports (the Compromised Intelligence Reports) made available to appropriately cleared recipients in the first half of 2018.

The topic of all of these initial five Compromised Intelligence Reports – foreign countries’ weapons systems – was outside the scope of Frese’s job duties as an analyst covering CT topics.

The media articles, and the intelligence reporting from which they were derived, both contained information that is classified up to the TS//SCI level, indicating that its unauthorized disclosure could reasonably be expected to result in exceptionally grave damage to the national security.

The intelligence reporting was marked as such.

“Frese repeatedly passed classified information to a reporter, sometimes in response to her requests, all for personal gain,” said John C. Demers, Assistant Attorney General for National Security. “When this information was published, it was shared with all of our nation’s adversaries, creating a risk of exceptionally grave harm to the security of this country. His conviction and sentence demonstrate the Department’s commitment to the investigation and prosecution of such betrayals by clearance holders as part of our mandate to protect our citizens and defend the national security of the United States.”

According to court documents, Frese and Journalist 1 lived together at the same residential address from January 2018 to November 2018. Throughout 2018 and 2019, Frese and Journalist 1 “followed” each other on Twitter, and on at least two occasions Frese re-Tweeted Journalist 1’s tweets announcing the publications of articles containing NDI classified at the Top Secret level.

“The American people expect those entrusted with our nation’s most sensitive secrets to keep those secrets safe. Mr. Frese did just the opposite,” said Alan E. Kohler, Jr., Assistant Director of the FBI’s Counterintelligence Division. “The FBI is committed to protecting the national security interests of the United States and will vigorously pursue investigations into current and former clearance holders who leak classified information.”

In or about April of 2018, Journalist 1 introduced Frese to a second journalist (Journalist 2).  Subsequently, Frese began texting and speaking with Journalist 2 by telephone.

Between mid-2018 and late September 2019, Frese orally transmitted NDI classified at the Top Secret level to Journalist 1 on 12 separate occasions, and orally transmitted NDI classified at the Secret level to Journalist 1 on at least four occasions.

Frese knew the information was classified at the Secret and Top Secret levels because the intelligence products from which he had learned the classified information had visible classification markings as to the classification level of the information, and the intelligence products accessed by Frese were stored on secure, classified government information systems.

“When Mr. Frese chose to provide classified information to members of the media, he violated his oath to serve the United States as a trusted government employee,” said Timothy R. Slater, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office. “Put in the hands of our adversaries, this information causes damage and harm to our country. This investigation and today’s sentencing serve as a reminder that unauthorized disclosures of classified information is a crime, and will not be tolerated.”

In relation to one of the 12 times Frese orally transmitted Top Secret NDI to Journalist 1, in or about mid-April to early May 2018, Frese accessed an intelligence report unrelated to his job duties on multiple occasions, which contained NDI classified at the Top Secret//SCI level (Intelligence Report l).

A week after Frese accessed Intelligence Report 1 for the second time, Frese received an April 27, 2018 Twitter Direct Message (DM) from Journalist 1 asking whether Frese would be willing to speak with Journalist 2.

Frese stated that he was “down” to help Journalist 2 if it helped Journalist 1 “progress.” During the same April 27, 2018, Twitter exchange, Journalist 1 indicated that a certain United States military official told Journalist 2 that the official was not aware of the subject matter discussed in Intelligence Report 1.

Frese characterized the official’s denial as “weird” and commented on the source of information contained within Intelligence Report 1.

Several days after the April 27, 2018, Twitter exchange, Frese searched on a classified United States government computer system for terms related to the topics contained in Intelligence Report 1.

A few hours after searching for terms related to the topic of Intelligence Report l, Frese spoke by telephone with Journalist 1, and several hours later he spoke by telephone with Journalist 2. 

Immediately after the call with Journalist 2, Journalist 1 called Frese. During at least one of the calls with Journalist 1 and Journalist 2, Frese orally passed Top Secret NDI derived from Intelligence Report 1.

Approximately 30 minutes after Frese spoke with the two journalists, Journalist 1 published an article (Article 1) which contained Top Secret NDI, orally communicated by Frese and derived from Intelligence Report 1 classified at the Top Secret//SCI level.

On at least 30 separate occasions in 2018, Frese conducted searches on classified government systems for information regarding the classified topics he discussed with Journalists 1 and 2.

On multiple occasions in 2018 and 2019, Frese conducted searches on classified government systems because of specific requests for information from Journalists 1 and 2.

Additionally, between early 2018 and October 2019, Frese communicated with an employee of an overseas CT consulting group (Consultant 1) via social media.

On at least two occasions, Frese transmitted classified NDI related to CT topics to Consultant 1, using a social media site’s direct messaging feature.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Neil Hammerstrom and Danya E. Atiyeh, and Trial Attorney Jennifer Kennedy Gellie of the National Security Division’s Counterintelligence and Export Control Section prosecuted the case.

A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. 

Related court documents and information are located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 1:19-cr-304.

Related: Former DIA Employee Pleads Guilty to Leaking Classified National Defense Information to Journalists

Justice.gov (June 2020) Former DIA Analyst Sentenced for Leaking Classified Information to Journalists

Chinese Nationals Sentenced to Prison for Illegal Photography of U.S. Naval Installation in Key West, Florida


On Friday, Ariana Fajardo Orshan, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida and George L. Piro, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Miami Field Office announced that three People’s Republic of China (PRC) foreign nationals were sentenced today to prison terms for illegal photography of military installations at the U.S. Naval Air Station in Key West, Florida (NAS Key West).  

Lyuyou Liao,27, was sentenced to the statutory maximum term of 12 months in prison followed by one year of supervised release, after pleading guilty to illegally entering NAS Key West on December 26, 2019, and taking photographs and video footage of property on the Truman Annex of the station.

This included taking images of vital military equipment. (Case No. 20-10002-CR-KMM ).

In a separate case, Jielun Zhang,25,and Yuhao Wang,24, were sentenced to 12 months and nine months in prison, respectively, to be followed by one year of supervised release, after pleading guilty to illegally entering NAS Key West on January 4, 2020, and taking photographs of military and naval infrastructure located on the Sigbsbee Park and Trumbo Point Annexes of the station. (Case No. 20-10005-CR-KMM).  

U.S. Attorney Fajardo Orshan commended the investigative efforts of the FBI and the South Florida Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF). 

She also commended the Naval Criminal Investigative Service and the Key West Police Department for their assistance.   Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan Kobrinski prosecuted this case. 

Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at www.flsd.uscourts.gov or at http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.

Justice.gov (June 2020) Three Chinese Nationals Sentenced to Prison for Illegal Photography of U.S. Naval Installation in Key West, Florida