During the general audience of Wednesday in Vatican City, Pope Francis met Asia Bibis family. Her husband Ashiq Masih and 15 year old daughter were greeted by the Pope. Asia Bibi had been convicted of blasphemy in 2009, and is facing death sentence.
Asia Bibi’s family was supported by and NGO to travel to Europe and seek international support for their cause. The family has appealed European officials to take up the issue in their hands. Asia is a mother of 5 and her death sentence was confirmed by the Lahore High court in October 2014. If the conviction is up held by the Supreme Court, the sentence will be carried out. The death sentence has been given by a district court.
A press conference was organized by Asia Bibis lawyer on Tuesday in Rome to appeal to the international community and the Italian government to out pressure on the Pakistani Government for her release. She is now a global symbol of injustice and the misuse of blasphemy law. Asia’s lawyer Nadeem also highlighted in the press conference that the international community should be concerned about the future of her family.
Two applications for the hearing of the appeal have already been submitted to the Supreme Court only to be rejected. The court has asked the lawyer and the convict to wait for a suitable time. This could mean one to four years of waiting. The family of five remains united in this time of difficulty.
During Easter time Asia had appealed Pope Francis to pray for her and the Pope mentioned this in the meeting with her family as well. He said, “I pray for Asia, for you and for all Christians who are suffering.”