The blasphemy ruckus: Supreme Court to hear Asia Bibi’s final appeal against blasphemy today

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Supreme Court of Pakistan to hear Asia Bibi’s final appeal today October 13. The apex court will finally decide her fate whether to uphold her death sentence or else acquit her and release her. There are speculations that this is not just a case of a Christian woman, it’s a battle for those crushed in the grind mill of the draconian laws.

Pakistani Christian woman Asia Bibi on death row

In 2009, she was accused of committing blasphemy by her co-workers. Consequently, Section 295-C was invoked against her that carries capital punishment. Later in 2010, a Sessions court awarded her death sentence which was challenged in the High Court. The ruling was upheld followed by an appeal in the apex court. SC had temporarily halted Asia Bibi’s capital punishment.

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In line a Human Rights in South Asia expert, Mustafa Qadri: “There is no question that what is at stake is the very soul of the state and Pakistan society: does Pakistan respect the rights of the most vulnerable? Does it defend those rights against spurious allegations even where those allegations involved matters that are sacred to most Pakistanis?”

Sequential appeals against the death penalty have been rejected, and if today the three-judge Supreme Court bench upholds her conviction, she would be left with no other option but to beg the President for clemency. If she is hanged, she would become first woman in Pakistan to be executed for blasphemy.