Giving hope to persecuted Christians since 1995
Select Page

ICC Note:

Asia Bibi’s husband, Ashiq Masih, was said to have been “weeping bitterly” after the Lahore High Court confirmed his wife’s death sentence last Thursday. In 2010, Asia Bibi was convicted of blasphemy and sentenced to death for her crime against Islam. Since her conviction, she has been held on death row awaiting appeal. Now, her only option is to appeal to the Supreme Court of Pakistan. Will Asia finally be set free at the Supreme Court level? 

10/21/2014 Pakistan (Christian Post) – Following the shocking news that the Pakistani High Court of Appeal in Lahore on Thursday, October 16, had confirmed the death sentence for Pakistani Christian mother, Asia Bibi, and dismissed her appeal, her husband, Ashiq Masih was said to be “weeping bitterly.”

According to Cath Martin in a story for Christian Today, Ashiq Masih, told Shamim Masih of the British Pakistani Christian Association: “This appeal was [a] ray of hope but the rejection of the appeal has shattered my confidence in the Pakistani legal system.”

According to Shamim Masih, Ashiq Masih was “weeping bitterly” when he met him after the hearing and told him Muslim clerics attending the hearing had shouted out “blasphemer” and “kill her.”

“I have not told my children about the court decision. How can I? I am too scared of their reaction – they are already very depressed. We all were expecting her to come home and now this happens,” said Ashiq Masih.

“How can I tell my children their mother is not free? This will kill them.”

Cath Martin then said that “Christians around the world have reacted with dismay to the news.”

She said that Bishop Rufin Anthony, of Islamabad and Rawalpindi, is appealing to Christians everywhere to pray for Bibi.

He said the court’s decision was “heartbreaking,” Vatican Radio reports.

Bibi’s lawyer, Sardar Mushtaq, told Associated Press they have 30 days to appeal. “We will continue this legal battle by approaching the Supreme Court of Pakistan,” he said.

Pakistani Christians spent Sunday praying for Bibi and are asking Christians around the world to remember her in their own prayers.

In neighboring India, the Bishop of Pune, Mgr. Thomas Dabre wrote in AsiaNews that the international community should hold the Pakistani government accountable.

“The Pakistan government cannot disown responsibility of this death sentence and should overturn immediately the death sentence of innocent Christian woman Asia Bibi,” he said.

“I would expect international authorities and bodies to make the Pakistan government withdraw this punishment as well as these draconian blasphemy laws, which betrays a mindset that are against present day affirmation of human rights.”

Amnesty International’s Deputy Asia Pacific Director David Griffiths said the court’s decision to uphold her death sentence was a “grave injustice.”

He went on to say, “Asia Bibi should never have been convicted in the first place – still less sentenced to death.” The laws are often used to settle personal vendettas – both against members of minority religious groups and Muslims – while individuals facing charges are frequently targeted in mob violence.

“Those who speak out against the laws face terrible reprisals. However, the blasphemy laws violate international law and must be repealed or reformed immediately to meet international standards.”

[Full Story]