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ICC Note:

600,000 people have signed a petition calling on Pakistan to release Asia Bibi from prison. In 2010, Bibi was sentenced to death for allegedly committing blasphemy against the prophet Muhammad, a crime punishable by death in Pakistan. Since then, Bibi has remained on death row. Her death sentence was confirmed by a High Court in Pakistan and Bibi’s appeal is now being heard by the Pakistani Supreme Court. Christians and other religious minorities are often falsely accused of blasphemy in Pakistan as score settling, personal gain, and religious hatred are often motives. 

6/1/2016 Pakistan (Express) – Asia Bibi was convicted of blasphemy by a Pakistan court and sentenced to death by hanging.

The mother, who has been on death row since 2010, was accused of making derogatory comments about the Prophet Mohammed during an argument with a Muslim woman.

The two women were doing casual harvesting work when the Muslim woman refused water from Mrs. Bibi from the well on the grounds it was unclean because it had been handled by a Christian.

Mrs. Bibi said: “I tipped over the glass before the woman could grab it. She said ‘listen to me she has soiled the glass with her hands and dirtied the water in the well. We can’t drink the water anymore because of her.’

“It was so unfair for once I decided to defend myself and to hold my head high.”

“I said ‘I think Jesus would have a different viewpoint to Mohammed’, the woman replied ‘how do you dare to question the prophet, dirty animal’.

“Three other women joined in shouting ‘it’s true, you’re nothing but a dirty Christian’.”

The mother of five, also known as Aasiya Noreen, will become the first woman in Pakistan to be lawfully executed for blasphemy if the death penalty is carried out.

The country is the sixth most dangerous place in the world for Christians.

An estimated 700 Christian girls and women are abducted every year, and often then raped and forcibly married to Muslims with others burned to death after being accused of blasphemy.

Two prominent Pakistani politicians were assassinated in 2010 after they spoke publicly in Asia’s defense.

Now more than 600,000 people from across the world have signed a petition calling for Mrs. Bibi’s release.

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