The potential release of Christian mother of five Asia Bibi, who recently saw her death sentence in Pakistan temporarily suspended, could be a "watershed moment" for all Christians falsely accused of blasphemy, a watchdog group has said.
"This could be a watershed moment as never before has a Christian blasphemy law victim had to appeal to the Supreme High Court, the majority are released at High Court. However the legal precedent that may be created as a consequence of a successful appeal could provide protection to future Christian victims faced with cases championed by aggressive, hatred fueled Islamic imams, while actual false eyewitnesses fail to appear during any stage of the court process," Wilson Chowdhry, president of the British Pakistani Christian Association, told The Christian Post on Monday.
"Moreover, a precedent could also limit the type of allegation that will be accepted by courts as a potential blasphemy. For instance, Asia Bibi's appeal focuses on the question she asked 'My Christ died for me, what did Muhammed do for you?' Despite 500 clerics in Pakistan believing the contents of the sentence was blasphemous, the majority of liberal imams outside of Pakistan believe the question exhibits little that could be construed as a blasphemy," Chowdhry added. more >>
Christian mother of five children, Asia Bibi had her death sentence temporarily suspended by Pakistan's Supreme Court on Wednesday, as an appeals case against her conviction of blasphemy begins.
"The execution of Asia Bibi has been suspended and will remain suspended until the decision of this appeal," lawyer Saif-ul-Malook said, according to Reuters.
Bibi, who has been held in prison for six years now, was originally sentenced to death in 2010 for offending the Islamic faith. She had been accused by a group of Muslim women to have committed an act of blasphemy when she drank from the same water supply as them. more >>
Six years after being sentenced to death on the charge of blasphemy, Pakistan's Supreme Court has finally issued Christian mother of five, Asia Bibi, an appeal hearing, which serves as the last chance to spare her from death and secure her freedom.
Bibi, who has suffered major health troubles in recent months due to her cruel imprisonment, will have an appeal trial next Wednesday, July 22 at 9 a.m., the British Pakistani Christian Association first reported Thursday.
BPCA officer Mehwish Bhatti said the 50-year-old mother's appeal was "expedited" possibly because of the international scrutiny put on the Pakistani government about Bibi's unjust plight. more >>
Pakistan's first woman on death roll, Asia Bibi, whose struggle with the country's highly criticized blasphemy laws, may not be able to truly escape the death sentence even if she's acquitted of her "crime."
Bibi's husband, Ashiq Masih, recently told U.K.-based Daily Mail that his 50-year-old wife, who has been imprisoned for six years for allegedly blaspheming Islam by drinking out of a Muslim's bowl, is on the local Muslim clerics' hit list and a bounty has been placed on her head. Masih said his family is "broken" over what has happened to Bibi and believe she is framed.
"My children cry for their mother, they are broken. But I try to give them hope where I can," said Masih to Daily Mail. more >>
Two Christian women from a Pakistani village in the Sheikhupura district of Punjab province have reportedly been tortured by Muslim villagers, after which their faces were painted black and they were paraded around the town on donkeys.
The Pakistani Christian Post reported that the women, identified as Rukhsana and Rehana, were accused of committing blasphemy, which activists have said is a common way for the Muslim majority to oppress Christian and other minorities.
The two Christians apparently got into an argument with a Muslim woman who wanted to buy from their home a flex used as a carpet for a low price, to which the Christians refused. The Muslim woman then accused the Christians of committing blasphemy by pointing out that the carpet has images of Holy Books and Quran verses on it, which prompted a Muslim mob to beat the Christians and drag them out of their home. more >>
A 10-year-old boy in Pakistan was allegedly tortured with a stick by his Islamic school teacher after he refused to do construction work on a mosque in the Punjab province.
The Pakistani news site Dawn.com reported that the boy, named only as Tayyab, who is a student at Jamia Ishadal Quran seminary in the Noorpur village in the town of Pakpattan, was brutally beaten by an Islamic cleric until he passed out on Sunday.
Rozi Khan, Tayyab's father, told local media that he was alerted that his son was being physically assaulted when two of his son's classmates came to him and told him that Tayyab was being held by the cleric. more >>