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Published On: Tue, May 6th, 2014

Asia Bibi appeal hearing set for late May, she’s been jailed since 2009

The Pakistani Christian woman sentenced to death under the country’s blasphemy law may finally get an appeals hearing after several delays, according to a new report on Monday.

Asia Bibi sentenced to death pakistanAsia Bibi, who allegedly spoke against the prophet Muhammad, has been given a fourth date to appear in court appealing her charges. The three previous court dates were postponed for a variety of reasons including the failure of Bibi’s accuser to attend the hearing.

The appeal hearing is now set for May 27, 2014, the Christian Today reports, with the Lahore High Court Division Bench 

Bibi, a mother of five, has been in jail since 2009. She was sentenced with the death penalty in November 2010, making Bibi the first woman in to receive such a sentence under Pakistan’s blasphemy laws.

The blasphemy laws say that “whoever by words, either spoken or written, or by visible representation or by any imputation, innuendo, or insinuation, directly or indirectly, defiles the sacred name of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) shall be punished with death, or imprisonment for life, and shall also be liable to fine.”

In 2009, 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.

In anticipation of the trial, the British Pakistani Christian Association (BPCA) has released an online petition, urging people around the world to sign and demand Bibi’s freedom.

The petition can be found at http://www.petitionbuzz.com/petitions/justice4asia. Wilson Chowdhry, BPCA vice chairman said that he hopes to reach 100,000 signatures.

“We have asked that if the Judiciary is unable to make the right decision, that the President of the country should now enact his powers of Presidential Pardon, as Asia has suffered the ignominy of imprisonment for five years despite worldwide affirmation of her innocence,” Chowdhry said.

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