LAHORE: Petition filed at the High Court to immediately fix a trial date for blasphemy convicted Asia Bibi.
Asia Noreen Bibi a Pakistani Christian woman was convicted without any evidence of her actually committing the crime she had been allegedly accused of by her fellow-workers. Since the time of allegation in June 2009, she has been behind the bars moreover kept in solitary confinement on account of some serious threats against her life as blasphemy accused are liable to extrajudicial judgement. In 2010, a judge of District court in Sheikhupura sentenced her to death and since then she has been withering away in confinement waiting for a miracle to happen. Appeal against District court’s decision was filed which is met a prolonged and unexpected delay.
Asia Bibi’s lawyers S.K.Chaudhry and Mushtaq Gill in their petition filed at the Lahore High Court stated: It is necessary to immediately fix the first hearing for Asia Bibi. A copy of the petition, sent to and international news agency Fides, urges the judges to advance on urgent basis saying that: Asia Bibi is not in good health, both physical and psychological; one must also consider the urgent need she has to take care of her children; she is innocent and is hoping for an acquittal. The petition filed continues: Given the urgency of the case, we ask a section of the court to work during the holiday period and that the hearing can be fixed during this time.
Despite some serious efforts from local lawyers and international organizations, the legal process following her appeal against the death sentence has been postponed at least five times now. Notwithstanding, the delaying tactics from the judiciary in hearing her appeal case on 27th of May, 2014, the case strangely disappeared from the list of hearings. Her lawyers claim: In spite of everything, we have confidence in our judiciary and we are hopeful for the release of Asia, because she is innocent. What is more most of the lawyers and Human Rights Activists striving for the rights of blasphemy accused in Pakistani jails, are threatened of dire consequences.