Islamabad, September 16:  A Christian man has been sentenced to death by a court in Pakistan for blasphemy in the eastern part of the country. The 35-year-old man had sent a WhatsApp message to his close friend– the message contained material that was making fun of Prophet Muhammad.

James had fled from his home in Sara-e-Alamgir in Pakistan’s Punjab to flee an angry crowd that had gathered around his house after the incident. He later surrendered to the police. He was arrested in July last year after his friend accused him of making fun of the Prophet. He was booked under the anti-blasphemy law, which entails punishment up to death sentence. His lawyer said that James will appeal to the higher court against the session’s court verdict.

“My client will appeal in the High Court as he has been framed for having an affair with a Muslim girl,” said the lawyer.

According to the Guardian, 67 people have been murdered in Pakistan on blasphemy allegations since 1990. In 2011, Punjab’s provisional governor Salman Taseer was killed by his bodyguard after he called for reforms in the anti-blasphemy law.  Last year, a student was beaten to death at his university after a debate in his dormitory.