Asia Bibi petition against her blasphemy conviction was fixed for trail on February 14, three years after it was submitted, but court didn’t took it in.
Her criminal appeal number is 2509/10 ‘Mst Aasia Bibi vs The State’ and murder reference 614/10 ‘State Vs Mst Aasia Bibi w/o Ashiq’ was fixed for trails before the Lahore High Court division bench.
The court management had updated her counsel. Her husband, Ashiq Masih said “It was a ray of hope for me and my children…the court might reconsider the facts of the case and release her”.
The counsel was later informed that her trail had been called off.
Aasia’s counsel, M. Yasin of the Free Legal Aid and Settlement (FLAS), told that February 14 the LHC management had informed him through a SMS that the trail had been “called off by order”.
He said the issue was very receptive and the LHC was fully conscious of this. He said the genuine case file was not put on with other files but in an officer’s cupboard. He said a copy of the petition had been placed in the regular record room for reference.
He said the cause list was called off for the reason that one of the judges on the division bench had gone on leave that day. He said he could not guess the next date of trail.
Since June 19, 2009 after her neighbors in a village near Nankana Sahib blamed her of making offensive comments about Prophet Muhammad Aasia, 45, has been in prison. On November 2010, an additional district and session’s judge find her guilty and condemn her to death. The evidence of the judgment by the LHC has been waiting. When Governor Salmaan Taseer visited her in jail and criticized her conviction as well as the blasphemy law, the case attracted more concentration. A few months later, he was murdered by his official bodyguard.
Chairman FLAS, Advocate Anis AA Saadi said that she faced bullying from fellow inmates and her jailers at Sheikhupura Jail. He said she had been badly beaten by a member of jail staff in October 2011.
He said her petition should be heard right away to guarantee her security. He said he expected the high court would set free her.
He said Aasia’s conviction for blasphemy was incoherent with the proofs presented in her case.
He said, if not release her; the court would likely cut her punishment. He said her supposedly blasphemous word had come in an argue with some Muslim neighbors, who had declined to drink water from the same utensil as her for the reason that she was Christian.
He said the trial’s record demonstrate that there were some ambiguities in the prosecution’s case, counting her extrajudicial confession, irregularities in the statement of prosecution witnesses, and technical blunders on the part of the police.