Christian persecution watchdog Release International has urged for prayers as Pakistan’s Supreme Court is all set to hear the appeal case of Asia Bibi. The apex court will decide her fate on October 13, Thursday when her appeal against death sentence will be heard. Release International has urged all Christians to redouble their prayers for Asia Bibi. Asia has been on death row since 2010.
As the hearing draws nigh, Release International Chief Executive, Paul Robinson states: “Pakistan must revoke this death sentence, release Asia Bibi and repeal the blasphemy law. Time and again, we have seen these laws abused to target individuals and destroy their lives.” Release International has launched a petition seeking abolition of the blasphemy law, which has been misused frequently against Christians and other religious minorities.
“These laws are used to fan the flames of violent persecution. They are invoked to devastate lives and stir up extremism. Merely to accuse a person of blasphemy can be to pass a sentence of death. All too often, even when the courts confirm a person’s innocence, vigilantes take the law into their own hands and murder those who have been accused of blasphemy, often without a shred of evidence. More than 50 people have already died as a result of vigilante killings since 1990.
We urge Pakistan to reject extremism and violent persecution. Show mercy to Asia, set her free and guarantee her and her family’s protection. For the future peace of this great nation, Pakistan must repeal these much-abused laws,” Paul Robinson stated.
In the thicket of religious extremism there are serious concerns for the security of the Christian respondent. In line with Center for Research and Security Studies in Islamabad, from 1990 till now about 52 blasphemy accused people have been killed extra-judicially. “If Asia is released, she and her family will still be in grave danger. Please redouble your prayers for Asia, her family and for the nation of Pakistan,” Paul Robinson implores.