Over half a million people have signed a global petition in support of Asia Bibi, a Christian woman sentenced to death under Pakistan’s notorious blasphemy laws. In 2010, Bibi was sentenced to death after being accused of committing blasphemy by her Muslim coworkers. The accusation arose out of a dispute between Bibi and her Muslim coworkers who were upset because Bibi, a Christian, had used the same watering bowl as them. Many human rights groups agree that blasphemy accusations in Pakistan are often false, motivated by personal score settling or religious hatred. Will this petition help get Bibi finally released?
10/31/2016 Pakistan (Christian Post) – A global petition in support of Christian mother of five Asia Bibi has reached over 540,000 signatures, the American Center for Law and Justice reports. The group is urging Christians to continue to show their support for the Pakistani woman whose only crime was her faith in Jesus Christ.
“Asia’s only crime was affirming her faith in Jesus Christ. Her firm stand for her Christian faith has cost her dearly. Her case is a controversial one, with radical Islamic clerics calling for her to be hanged,” the ACLJ said in an update on its petition.
“This controversy, however, does not excuse Pakistan from honoring its international and domestic legal obligations. Asia is still on death row, her fate is still uncertain, and Pakistan’s Supreme Court has yet to reschedule her hearing,” it added.
Bibi has been imprisoned for seven years as she waits for her case to be resolved. The mother of five has been on death row since 2010 after a group of Muslim co-workers accused her of insulting the Muslim prophet Muhammad, something which she denies.
Bibi was supposed to find out in October at a final appeal hearing at Pakistan’s Supreme Court whether or not she will be executed, but that decision has been delayed after one of the senior judges who was set to preside over her appeal suddenly resigned.
Local media said that Justice Iqbal Hameed recused himself from the case earlier in October, without giving a specific reason.
The ACLJ noted that the Supreme Court has yet to reschedule her hearing, and the Christian woman’s fate remains uncertain.