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Supreme Court appeal for ‘blasphemy’ prisoner Aasia Bibi

South Asia

Supreme Court appeal for ‘blasphemy’ prisoner Aasia Bibi

Crowd demanding Asia Bibi’s release

The Chief Justice of Pakistan announced that the Supreme Court will soon hear the appeal case of “blasphemy” convicted Christian woman Aasia Bibi.

A further announcement confirming a date for the appeal hearing is awaited from Justice Mian Saqib Nisar, who has issued directives for full-security precautions for Aasia during the forthcoming hearing.

Aasia was sentenced to death in 2010 and has spent nearly nine years languishing in prison after she was accused of insulting Muhammad during an argument with fellow women field-labourers. The confrontation started when they refused to drink water she had fetched because she was a Christian. The most recent attempt to appeal her conviction collapsed when one of the three judges recused himself.

The European Union’s Special Envoy for the promotion of freedom of religion has reportedly told the Pakistani government that trade access to the EU will be directly linked to a “positive outcome” in Aasia’s “blasphemy” case.

The persecuted church relief agency, Barnabas Fund are supporting Aasia’s family with a monthly food parcel and have helped to purchase a house and fund the installation of a gas supply to the family’s new home; Aasia’s husband and children had to go into hiding after she was accused.