NEWS | Asia Bibi’s Lawyer Reports She is “Safe and in Good Health” in Pakistani Prison
Last week, Asia Bibi’s Supreme Court lawyer visited his client in prison to assess her condition. Many new articles claiming Bibi’s health was in decline prompted the lawyer to make the journey to a prison in Multan. According to the lawyer, Bibi is in good health and is safe in prison as she awaits her appeal to Pakistan’s Supreme Court. Learn more: http://ow.ly/TX6re
NEWS | Asia Bibi’s Lawyer Criticizes Pakistan’s Judicial System
“Many legal requirements have been ignored in the case of Asia Bibi, the only woman to be sentenced to death for blasphemy in Pakistan. The authorities must put aside religious sentiments and verify the facts, first. However, they are subject to the influence of religious fundamentalists and do not stop the militants from attacking those accused of insulting the Prophet Muhammad, or setting fire to their homes”, says Saiful Malook, Asia Bibi’s lawyer, speaking to AsiaNews. Pakistan’s judicial system is widely regarded as an affront to international rule of law standards. A culture of impunity has encouraged widespread persecution of religious minorities. Photo: Martin Bureau/ AFP Learn more: http://ow.ly/QyhXk
July 22, 2015
PAKISTAN: Supreme Court stays execution on Asia Bibi
22nd July, 2015
This morning, the three judges of the Supreme Court in Lahore, led by Justice Saqib Nisar (pictured), lifted the death sentence from Asia Bibi and agreed to hear her appeal against her conviction for blasphemy, stating that it is essential to examine her case for administration of justice.
The Supreme Court admitted the appeal for a full hearing and also ordered that all records pertaining to the case be presented before it. In her appeal, Asia said that she had not made any blasphemous remarks but that some residents of her neighbourhood had levelled the allegations based on a personal feud with her.
Asia asked the court to strike down her death sentence. She has been on death row since November 2010 after being convicted of committing blasphemy during an argument with a neighbour over a bowl of water in 2009. She had filed an appeal in the Supreme Court in November 2014 as her final legal recourse, one month after the Lahore High Court upheld her death sentence.
Tight Security at Court
Asia’s husband, Ashiq Masih (pictured), attended the hearing which was marked by tight security around the Supreme Court building with armed guards on duty. The case is being closely watched in Pakistan and the Supreme Court decision was reported in national newspapers and television. Observers have praised the Supreme Court for its decision, in the face of strong public sentiment against anyone seen to denigrate Islam, with some calling it a “historic day for Pakistan”.
Speaking after the hearing, Asia’s lawyer Saiful Malook said, “The Supreme Court today accepted the petition of my client to appeal against death sentence confirmation by the Lahore high court… the court will fix a date in due course to review the substance of the appeal.”
Asia will remain in prison until the appeal is heard.
(AFP/Daily Times/Express Tribune/World Watch Monitor)
Reacting to the news, David Turner (Director, Church in Chains), stated: “We welcome today’s Supreme Court decision in this case – it is the first legal decision in Asia’s favour since she was arrested six years ago.
“However, it is disappointing that the Supreme Court did not acquit Asia and order her release today. The lifting of the execution order is just the first step towards justice being done in this case. Our hope and prayer is that the Supreme Court will hear Asia’s full appeal very soon so that she can be freed and reunited with her family.”
Please pray that Asia Bibi’s appeal will be successful and that she will be acquitted. Ask God to protect her, her family and her lawyer, Saiful Malook. Pray that they will all know God’s perfect peace