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ICC Note:

Last week, Pakistan’s highest court granted Asia Bibi’s request to appeal her blasphemy case in Pakistan Supreme Court and suspended her death sentence until the Supreme Court has made its ruling. For many, this looks like a step in the right direction for Pakistan in regarding to its notorious blasphemy laws. Often, these laws are misused to settle personal scores or to incite religious hatred against Pakistan’s already vulnerable religious minorities. Will this be a step in the right direction or will the Supreme Court uphold the death sentence of a Christian woman falsely accused of blasphemy? 

7/30/2015 Pakistan (Ecumenical News) – The suspension of the death sentence of Asia Bibi, a Christian woman charged with blasphemy, by the Pakistan Supreme court has showed the value of Muslim-Christian dialogue, says a priest in the Islamic nation.

“The Supreme Court of Pakistan has made a great move as her death sentence was put aside,” Father James Channan said in a July 23 interview with the international Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need.

“I firmly believe that justice will be done, that she will be proven innocent and that she will be released,” said the Roman Catholic Dominican priest.

He noted, “The blasphemy law was used (in Bibi’s case) to settle a personal score – the accusation was an act of revenge.”

The Pakistani woman has denied the accusation, saying her accusers were acting out of a personal vendetta.

Asia Bibi spent nearly five years on death following an accusation that she insulted the Islamic prophet Muhammad during an argument, Catholic News Agency reported.

Earlier in July the Supreme Court of Pakistan suspended Bibi’s execution, and will soon hear her appeal.

However, CNA reported that many Pakistanis have spoken out against the court’s decision and have said it would carry out the execution even if she is deemed innocent.

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