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Ayaz Nizami is a blogger and political prisoner in Pakistan known for his arrest on 24 March 2017 for alleged blasphemy, and is currently facing the death penalty on such charges.


Biography


thumb|Fauzia Ilyas holding banner 'Free Ayaz Nizami'


Early life


Nizami is a religious scholar, who primarily specialises in Islamic law such as "tafsir, Hadiths, Fiqh and their principles"; besides this, he is an expert in Arabic language, grammar, terminology, philosophy and rational thinking. He received his religious education after completing the standard education and was admitted to a religious school.


Activism


Before his arrest, he allegedly translated materials critical of Islam in English to Urdu for publishing, and was first exposed by Alyan Khan, a Pakistani political author. Nizami founded the website ''realisticapproach.org'', a website in Urdu about irreligion, and allegedly served as the vice president of the Atheist & Agnostic Alliance Pakistan.


Arrest


On 24 March 2017, Nizami was arrested for alleged blasphemy by the FIA, and agencies in Pakistan. Two other bloggers were arrested along with Nizami in a crackdown on social media content deemed blasphemous by the Pakistani government. After his arrest, the hashtag ''#hangayaznizami'' and #FreeAyazNizami was trending on Twitter in Pakistan, and authorities shut down his social media account over material deemed controversial.


See also


* Freedom of religion in Pakistan * Political repression of cyber-dissidents


References


Category:People convicted of blasphemy in Pakistan Category:Pakistani bloggers Category:Living people Category:Critics of Sunni Islam Category:Pakistani atheists Category:Pakistani former Muslims Category:21st-century atheists Category:Year of birth missing (living people) Category:Place of birth missing (living people) Category:Internet censorship in Pakistan {{Pakistan-bio-stub