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23 November 2017

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07/08/2011 PAKISTAN

Asia Bibi’s case still on hold, but family remains hopeful

The woman’s lawyer has filed a new appeal against her death sentence. After visiting her in jail, husband and daughters say, “She is frail and can barely speak, but she has faith in God and has not lost hope.” For a legal expert, “fundamentalist pressures are too strong. Only a miracle can save her.”

Islamabad (AsiaNews) – Asia Bibi is still under the threat of the death penalty. She has waited for months for an appeal trial but Pakistani judges do not appear in a hurry to add her case to their agenda. The Christian woman’s attorney, S.K. Chaudhy, filed again for an appeal after four judges were suddenly replaced on Tuesday. “Our hope is for the High Court to appoint a judge”, the lawyer said, who had filed an appeal in January against her death sentence for blasphemy, alleging that the original evidence presented in court was false. Meanwhile, Bibi’s health is deteriorating after five months in isolation in Sheikhpura prison. Security around her has been beefed up after a Christian man, Qamar David, was poisoned to death in Karachi Ventral Prison.

Ashiq Masih, Asia Bibi’s husband, visits her every week with their two daughters. He is desperate. “Bibi is frail and can barely speaks,” he said. “She asks me about the High Court hearing every time, and every time in disappointment I tell her that we are waiting the court to take up the case. She has not lost hope and she has the faith that God will take her out of the jail,” he explained.

"My Mother is innocent. She is weak and can barely speak. I can’t control my tears when I see her,” the youngest daughter said. “We have been forced to face hardships because my mother stood firm for her faith. We are praying for her, we are hopeful that someday she will be with us and we will once again live a normal life”.

Bibi’s eldest daughter is also in tears. “Every time I hear news about persecution or blasphemy, I get scared that, God forbid, something will happen to my mother. We spend every single day in fear. Although the delay is making me lose hope, I pray every time and feel that God will bring her back one day. The moment she comes, we will forget all the hardships we have faced."

For Saleem Murtaza, a legal expert who has been following up Asia Bibi`s case, “The High Court is delaying the hearing due to the pressure from extremists and clerics. There is a great possibility that if the High Court takes up the case, it will maintain the death sentence. The pressure from extremist groups and the bounty over Asia`s head will increase the threat for the judiciary as well. The courts will be closed for 15 days in the month of August and then another week for Eid. Nothing less than a miracle at this time can turn things around."




See also

03/08/2015 PAKISTAN
Asia Bibi’s lawyer speaks out: Pakistani government is solely responsible for situation
AsiaNews interviews Saiful Malook, who is defending the Christian woman on death row on blasphemy charges. The lawyer, a Muslim, says: "People, even judges, say I am crazy to have taken on this case. They say I am an enemy of my own daughters".

20/10/2014 PAKISTAN - ISLAM
Lahore: Christian activists ask Supreme Court to deliver speedy justice for Asia Bibi
Christian Solidarity Worldwide calls on Pakistan's highest court to guarantee her safety as well as a speedy trial to secure her release. Her conviction is evidence of the poor status of the country's justice system, plagued by bias and corruption in blasphemy cases. Michelle Chaudhry is hopeful and optimistic about an acquittal.

18/11/2010 PAKISTAN
Some 2,500 people sign petition against Asia Bibi’s “disgraceful” sentence
Our appeal is picked up in Hungary and Eastern Europe. Punjab governor calls Bibi’s case “disgraceful”, an “embarrassment for Pakistan”. Pakistan’s Minorities minister says the sentence will not be carried out and that the woman can appeal the verdict.

12/11/2010 PAKISTAN
Asia Bibi’s conviction is an incitement to crime, says Justice and Peace official
Peter Jacob, secretary of the Church’s Justice and Peace Commission, said the death sentence is unjust, that it does not take into account how the law is being abused. Nazir Bhatti calls on the government to cancel the sentence as it has done in the past for some of terrorists.

17/11/2010 PAKISTAN
People around the world signing petition to save Asia Bibi
In two days, more than 1,300 people sign a petition launched by AsiaNews to save the life of the Pakistani woman sentenced to death on false blasphemy charges. Hundreds of messages have come in from Spain and Latin America, but also Vietnam, China and Malaysia. Hundreds of women protested yesterday for Asia Bibi against the blasphemy law.


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