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Published On: Wed, May 3rd, 2017

Pakistan Court denies Asia Bibi’s appeal in Sharia Law, blasphemy case

The Supreme Court of Pakistan has turned down the request for an early hearing of the case of a Christian mother sentenced to death for blasphemy, despite the increases in calls for injustice by supporters and those opposed to human rights violations in the name of Islam or Sharia Law.

Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar declined a request for the hearing of the case of Asia Bibi in the first week of June, according to details provided by her attorney. “Today I have been informed that the plea was declined by the CJP,” Saiful Malook stated to The Express Tribune, while discussing the case.

“This is very unfortunate. Her husband became quiet when he heard the latest developments. We shall again apply for the hearing and keep struggling for justice,” Joseph Nadeem, executive director of the Renaissance Education Foundation told UCANEWS.

“There are many factors at work behind the slow pace of judiciary. Her case has been in the doldrums due to huge pressure. There will be a strong reaction if Bibi is freed.  Opposing groups have made it a matter of honor and ego,” Nadeem  said.

Bibi, 51, was convicted of blasphemy and sentenced to death in ‎‎2010 after an argument with a Muslim woman over a glass of water. The “he said, she said” case centers around a personal dispute and allegations that Bibi defamed the Islamic prophet.

One account of the 2009 incident detailed that Bibi was working for a Muslim landowner on a farm. The Muslim women told Asia about Islam, and Bibi responded by telling the Muslim women that Jesus is alive.

“Our Christ sacrificed His life on the cross for our sins…Our Christ is alive,” she said.

She was then punished, charged with blasphemy and sentenced to hanging.

The Daily Mail spoke with Asia’s family and her oldest daughter, Esham Masih, who was nine years old when the attack happened spoke out. She chronicled how her mother was being abused by a gang of men, her clothes torn off and she was taken into custody.

“My friends told me that people were torturing my mother at the fields where she used to work,’ she said to the Mail. “I rushed to the spot and found that she was being abused and tortured by men. They had even torn her clothes.”

 

If Bibi’s death sentence is upheld, she would be first woman in Pakistan to be put to death for blasphemy.

The last time her case was taken up by the Supreme Court, was on October 13, by a three-judge bench.

However, one of the judges, Iqbal Hameed-ur-Rehman retired from the case because he said he was also a part of the bench in the case of the murder of Punjab Governor Salman Taseer, who was assassinated by his bodyguard in 2011 for his support of Bibi.

Judge Pervez Ali Shah fled to Saudi Arabia along with his family in 2011 after getting death threats for convicting Malik Mumtaz Hussein Qadri who confessed to murdering Taseer. Shahbaz  Bhatti, a Catholic and federal minister for minorities, was also assassinated that year for supporting Bibi’s released and recommending reform of the blasphemy law.‎

Asia Bibi photo supplied by Call For Mercy

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