It’s time for Pakistan to immediately release Asia Bibi: US Senator Rand Paul

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Two US Senators have jointly introduced a resolution in the US Senate calling upon the government of Pakistan to release Asia Bibi, Pakistani-Christian woman on death row on charges of committing blasphemy. Senators Rand Paul and Chris Coons moved the resolution; not only calling for release of Asia Bibi but also to bring reforms in the blasphemy laws.

Blasphemy cases in Pakistan

This resolution was introduced on Tuesday, April 4. Both senators maintained that the law is being misused to target the religious minorities in the country. Senator Rand Paul said: “My heart goes out to Asia Bibi as she continues to endure her unjust imprisonment in Pakistan. It’s time for Pakistan to immediately release Asia Bibi and put a stop to the persecution of Christians and other religious minorities.”

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“No one, in any part of the world, should be victimized for freely and peacefully practicing his or her beliefs. I urge the government of Pakistan to release Asia Bibi and work to promote an inclusive and pluralistic society, starting with reforming its blasphemy laws,” Senator Chris Coons said.

Asia Bibi was accused of committing blasphemy by her co-workers back in 2009. Later on, in 2010, a court in district Nankana awarded her capital punishment, which was later challenged and upheld by a two-member bench of Lahore High Court in 2014. Her appeal case is currently pending with the Supreme Court of Pakistan.

Supposedly her final appeal hearing on October 13 was meant to wind up the most high profile case of the country, yet it was delayed as one of the judges refused to be a part of the three member bench that was to hear the case.