As the case hearing date of Asia Bibi draws nigh, calls for her release and acquittal increase nationwide. In this respect Christian organization Release International if calling upon Pakistan to ensure the Christian respondent’s release. At the same time, there are calls to repeal the draconian blasphemy laws in the country.
Asia Bibi’s case hearing is scheduled to be heard by the Supreme Court of Pakistan in October, when her fate will be decided. Asia Bib has been on the death row since she was convicted of blasphemy a crime punishable by death. Section 295-C was invoked against the Christian woman which leads to capital punishment.
Release International is a Christian charity group which serves Christians persecuted for their faith, has called on the Prime Minister of Pakistan Nawaz Sahrif to repeal the blasphemy laws, which “are often invoked to take revenge, incite violent attacks and eliminate rivals.”
In this regard, Chief executive of Release International, Paul Robinson said: “We call on the government of Pakistan to abolish the blasphemy laws and seek to create a society where every Pakistani citizen is free to exercise their faith and live in peace with their neighbors.”
Asia Bibi, a Pakistan Christian woman was accused of committing blasphemy in 2009 and was arrested by the police in June the same year. She was charged under 295-C of Pakistan Penal Code, which is non-bailable and carries death penalty. In 2010, a local judge Muhammad Naveed Iqbal handed down death penalty to her along with a penalty of net amount equivalent of $1100.
Asia Bibi’s defense counsel Advocate Saif-ul-Malook filed a petition against her death sentence in Supreme Court’s Lahore registry. The Apex court previously halted her death sentence. “Asia Bibi anxiously awaits release from captivity, as she had certainly been guilty of what she has been convicted of.”