LAHORE: Last chance for Asia Bibi as the next court hearing will decide the blasphemy convict’s fate.
According to details, a court hearing has been set for Asia Bibi on July 22, in Lahore. Asia Bibi’s defence counsel Saif ul Malook confirmed that the case is due to be heard, which is basically an appeal against her death sentence. “I am very much sure and optimistic that the honourable Supreme Court will acquit Bibi. The evidence available as the record is not sufficient evidence for the Islamic standards of evidence to sustain the conviction,” he said.
Asia Bibi has been on death row since she was accused of committing blasphemy in June 2009 by her fellow-workers. Session’s Court in District Nankana, ruled capital punishment for Asia Bibi in 2010. Her defence lawyers filed an appeal against the decision while she remained in police custody since then. During this period hearing of her appeal case was either rescheduled or delayed countless times. Nonetheless, on October 16, 2014 the Lahore High Court sustained her death penalty after issuing a short order.
The appeal case put forth in Supreme Court, scheduled to be heared on Wednesday, July 22; is practically the last chance for crestfallen Asia Bibi. The Supreme Court shall decide whether she is granted or rejected. If the Supreme Court rejects her appeal her death penalty will be upheld. In this case, only Presidential Pardon could save Asia Bibi’s life. If Supreme Court grants her appeal, dates will be set for future hearings during which the court would decide whether to annul or withhold her death penalty.
Ashiq Masih, husband of Asia Bibi says, “It is a great pleasure that Asia’s appeal hearing has been fixed by the Supreme Court. Our whole family is praying for her release so she may come out of the prison and may live with her children. May God protect her and all our children so that we may live safely and peacefully together.”