MULTAN: Asia Bibi’s case draws international attention whilst increasing outcry for her release.
Asia Bibi, born in 1966, a Pakistani Christian woman and mother of five children predominantly puts up with deteriorating health, threats, fear of capital punishment and above all maltreatment in prison. She was convicted of blasphemy by a local court, received a verdict to be hanged in 2010. This case and verdict, has received worldwide attention. If put to death; Asia Bibi would be the first Pakistani woman to be legitimately killed for blasphemy.
Talking to a journalist, this forberaing woman communicates to the outter world in a calm and composed way as follows:
‘’When I was arrested, I was assaulted and harnessed by the police… I was in a state of shock for many days…. I fasted and prayed… my family has been in trouble… they have been moving one place to another… yes I have forgiven the Muslims who put me and my family in this situation. I live in a confined cell; I am allowed to go out for only 30 minutes every day…. and allowed to meet my family for 1 hour every Tuesday….
I am given raw material to cook for myself, the administration fears I might be poisoned, as other Christians accused of Blasphemy were poisoned or killed in the jail…. the security on my duty is polite. Last week a few hot words were exchanged with the warden over a minute issue, she tried to strangle me. She has been suspended.
I pray and fast, I want to be with my family. Hug my daughters, kiss them. I am waiting for a date from the Lahore High Court for the appeal regarding the death sentence…A Masihi ( Christian) Foundation is supporting my family and has hired a lawyer for the case. A petition has been filed at the Lahore high Court awaiting them to accept the case for hearing…. I am hopeful that I will be released. There is a bounty of about 80,000 Rupees offered by the religious clerics, I have left everything on God, I will accept His will…
I will request the Western world to pray and do something for the Christians in Pakistan who are suffering and persecuted….there are many other Christians in jails who need help… They can help the human rights organizations who fight for the persecuted and become the voice of the voiceless.
Blasphemy law is a man made law, it is being misused in Pakistan to settle personal vendettas, it should be repealed or at least amended. It has claimed so many innocent lives… I have also been falsely accused.
Its not very good, the Christians specially in the villages are living a worst life, they are mistreated, abused and framed for false cases as they cannot afford to fight for their rights…. the NGOs need support to help them, they are denied government jobs and not given the respect… only 10 % of the Christians are able to get good jobs and are settled only because they are educated. The odd jobs in the country are reserved only for the Christians.”
Amid ever increasing international clamor for Asia Bibi’s release, a UK based organization Global Minorities Alliance (GMA) calls for the release of Asia Bibi. The Alliance has of late prepared an online petition and aims to gather 500,000 signatures across the world to present them to the Pakistan consulate in Glasgow. To sign Free Asia online petition please see http://www.globalminorities.co.uk/FreeAasia