Long time readers of this blog will recognize the name Asia Bibi, a Christian women imprisoned in Pakistan on charges of blasphemy against Muhammed. She was on death row for eights years and had one last appeal to Pakistan’s Supreme Court. This morning, it is being reported widely that she was acquitted.
This is of course tremendous news for her and her family. Her cause has been a focus of many groups, religious and non-religious, since her wrongful conviction eight years ago. Many in Pakistan wanted her to be executed for blasphemy. Pakistan’s high court did not find the evidence compelling and acquitted her. There isn’t any news at this point about when she will be release or where she will go. She certainly won’t be safe in Pakistan. She has been offered asylum in France among other places in the world.
Ajmal Jami is a correspondent for Dunyan News.
I will add details and additional confirmation as it becomes available. Here is another news report about the stay of execution. And this from Dawn News also confirms the news. It doesn’t appear that Bibi is completely out of the woods but she has a stay on her sentence as of now.
I have written about Asia Bibi onseveraloccasions. Bibi is a Pakistani Christian mother of five who was convicted of blasphemy against Mohammad and sentenced to death. She has been dying a slow death in a Pakistani prison while Pakistan’s government has turned a deaf ear to many calls for her release.
News reports suggest she is very ill and will die if she does not receive medical care.
There have been multiple petition drives (I count eight on Change.org) and calls from political (e.g., mayor of Paris) and religious leaders (e.g., the Pope) to free Bibi.
It is galling to know that the U.S. gives billions of tax payer dollars to Pakistan while that nation regularly violates human rights.
If ever the State Department was ever going to make an another effort to pressure Pakistan, now would be the time.
Today in Pakistan, an appeal was filed to Pakistan’s Supreme Court on behalf of Asia Bibi.
The Christian mother of five is hoping to be cleared of blasphemy charges via this appeal and/or to receive a pardon and perhaps find refuge in France.
A Pakistani Christian woman sentenced to death for blasphemy filed an appeal in the country’s top court Monday, her final legal recourse after being found guilty of insulting the Prophet Mohammed four years ago.
A high court in the eastern city of Lahore confirmed the death sentence of Asia Bibi last month, dashing hopes the conviction might be overturned or commuted to a jail term.
She has been on death row since November 2010 after being convicted of insulting the prophet of Islam during an argument with a Muslim woman over a bowl of water.
“On behalf of Asia Bibi I have today filed an appeal in the Supreme Court,” defence attorney Saiful Malook told AFP.