Following the announcements of Asia’ Bibi’s appeal case to be heard in October, rights campaigners are actively advocating for release of Pakistani Christian woman who has been on death row over charges of blasphemy. For this sake, rights campaigners are calling upon the members of the Anglican Consultative Council to increase their efforts to get the Christian woman acquitted and released.
50-year-old, Asia Bibi is currently, languishing behind the bars facing death sentence. She was accused of committing blasphemy in June 2009 by her fellow-workers. In 2010, a Session’s Court in District Nankana, handed capital punishment to Asia Bibi.
Consequently, her defense lawyers filed a petition against her death sentence while she has been in police custody since then. However, on July 22, last year the Apex Court of Pakistan temporarily halted her execution, citing lack of evidence against her. The Christian woman who can rightfully be termed as Pakistan’ most high profiled prisoner, is waiting for next case hearing date in the Supreme Court while there are no chances of an immediate petition case hearing.
In this respect, Shunila Ruth a Pakistani Christians lawmaker and member of the ACC for Pakistan and coordinator for women in the Church in Pakistan had advocated for increased efforts for the acquittal of Asia Bibi. “ACC members need to lobby their governments,” Shunila Ruth further said, “They need to press Pakistan to free Asia. And, more than that, they need to call for Pakistan to re-visit the blasphemy law. It needs to be tackled – it is inhuman.”
She further said that Asia Bibi’s case is not unusual, at the same time she narrated the incident of a young Christian man in Pakistan’s Punjab province who had emailed merely downloaded material which was considered breach of the blasphemy law. “The whole village came under threat and he was forced to flee for his life,” she continued while explaining the consequences “He is now in hiding.”