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 >>
As Christian mother of five Asia Bibi marks her sixth year in prison in Pakistan, placed on death row for blasphemy charges, a U.K. Christian group reports that some attempts are being made to reform sections of the country's controversial blasphemy laws that punish religious minorities. The group also believes that Britain and the U.S. must rethink the way they provide financial aid to Pakistan if they want to see reforms in the country.
"The proposed changes will ostensibly make it more difficult for blasphemy charges to be laid, focusing on proving that any blasphemy was intentional under a legal concept termed Mens Rea translated as 'guilty mind,'" Wilson Chowdhry, president of the British Pakistani Christian Association, told The Christian Post on Wednesday.
"However the large number of extra-judicial killings and insouciance from local police to get involved in blasphemy charges or a pattern of local police authorities cowing under pressure from mobs led by local imams, suggest this law change will have little effect." more >>
As Pakistani lawmakers consider legislation to reform the nation's corrupt blasphemy laws, Islamic clerics are bashing the government for even considering such an option, and are calling for the release of the murderer of the Punjab governor who advocated for blasphemy reform in 2011.
Asia News reports that 10 Muslim scholars and a former Pakistani judge gathered recently at a "seminar for protection of the prophet's dignity" and expressed their concern over the proposed legislation that is attempting to add the word "intention" to the nation's blasphemy law.
Speaking at the seminar was former Pakistani justice Mian Nazir Akhtar, who represents Mumtaz Qadri, the bodyguard who killed Punjab Governor Salman Taseer for referring to Pakistan's blasphemy law as a "black law." Akhtar bashed the proposed legislation and asserted that those who insult the Muslim prophet Muhammad deserve to be killed and "sent to hell." more >>