Pakistani Actress Veena Malik Sentenced to 26 Years in Prison for "Malicious Acts of Blasphemy"
Actress Veena Malik was sentenced this week to 26 years in prison by a Pakistani court for reenacting her wedding with her husband on a morning TV show. Her husband, Asad Khattak, as well as Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman, the owner of Geo TV, which aired the program, and Shaista Whidi, who hosted it, all received 26 year sentences as well.
The program caused controversy when it first aired several months ago, leading the TV station to run apologies in Pakistani newspapers. The court primarily objected to the use of religious music in the mock wedding. "The malicious acts of the proclaimed offenders ignited the sentiments of all the Muslims of the country and hurt the feelings, which cannot be taken lightly and there is need to strictly curb such tendency," the court ruling said.
Malik does not currently reside in Pakistan and neither, reportedly, do the other three people given sentences. The actress says she will return to Pakistan next month to appeal the sentence and that she has faith in the Pakistani court system.
Watch the allegedly blasphemous TV segment below: