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Thread: Mother of 5 sentenced to death for blasphemy

  1. #1
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    Default Mother of 5 sentenced to death for blasphemy

    ....
    Pakistan Muslims warn of anarchy if Christian pardoned
    Fri, Nov 26, 2010
    AFP


    ISLAMABAD - Pakistan's most influential Sunni Muslim alliance urged the government Friday not to pardon a Christian mother sentenced to death for blasphemy, warning that it would lead to nationwide anarchy.

    Politicians and conservative clerics are at loggerheads on whether President Asif Ali Zardari should pardon Asia Bibi, a mother of five sentenced to hang for defaming the Prophet Mohammed under controversial blasphemy laws. While a growing number of moderate politicians have backed calls for clemency for Bibi, religious conservatives have organised a rival campaign.

    "The pardon would lead to anarchy in the country," the head of Sunni Ittehad Council, Sahibzada Fazal Kareem, told AFP.

    "Our stand is very clear that this punishment cannot be waived."

    Kareem said that the alliance would lead protests nationwide on Friday against any moves to pardon Bibi.

    The council opposes Taliban militants, which are fighting government troops in parts of northwest Pakistan, and has also organised a protest march against deadly attacks on Sufi shrines blamed on Islamist hardliners.

    Rights activists say Pakistan's controversial blasphemy law, under which the offence is punishable by death, encourages Islamist extremism in a Muslim country on the front line of the US-led war on Al-Qaeda.

    Minority affairs minister Shahbaz Bhatti presented a clemency plea to Zardari late Thursday on the grounds that the case against Bibi was based only on personal enmity.

    Pope Benedict XVI has also called for Bibi's release and said Christians in Pakistan were "often victims of violence and discrimination."

    Bibi was arrested in June 2009 after Muslim women labourers refused to drink from a bowl of water she was asked to fetch while out working in the fields.

    Days later, the women complained that she made derogatory remarks about the Prophet Mohammed. Bibi was set upon by a mob, arrested by police and sentenced on November 8.

    Rights activists and pressure groups say it is the first time that a woman had been sentenced to hang in Pakistan for blasphemy. Only around three percent of Pakistan's population of 167 million are estimated to be non-Muslim.http://news.asiaone.com/News/AsiaOne...26-249402.html

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    Default Re: Mother of 5 sentenced to death for blasphemy

    I read somewhere recently that the President is considering clemency if her family agrees to leave the country, which they refused.
    Thus all which you call Sin, Destruction—in brief, Evil—that is my true element.

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    Default Re: Mother of 5 sentenced to death for blasphemy

    Quote Originally Posted by TotalMayhem View Post
    I read somewhere recently that the President is considering clemency if her family agrees to leave the country, which they refused.
    Which is their right to refuse and poor people cannot simply leave a country not to mention that is a sentence of exil upon the whole family --and conveniently gets rid of a few more people who are not muslim, as a muslim family would not be required to leave the country because of what one member may or may not have done.

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    Default Re: Mother of 5 sentenced to death for blasphemy

    I didn't really follow it up, Christy, I just remember seeing this headline somewhere recently.

    And I'm not saying they should accept this offer.
    Thus all which you call Sin, Destruction—in brief, Evil—that is my true element.

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    Default Re: Mother of 5 sentenced to death for blasphemy

    Any journalist care to ask Mullah Aherne to comment?
    Think National. Act Local. Oh- and superstition is just the dark matter of human history.

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    Default Re: Mother of 5 sentenced to death for blasphemy

    Quote Originally Posted by TotalMayhem View Post
    I didn't really follow it up, Christy, I just remember seeing this headline somewhere recently.

    And I'm not saying they should accept this offer.
    Sorry, I have tendancy to be direct which can come across as blunt in a way that I didnt mean --I did understand you were already aware of this case to some extent.

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    Default Re: Mother of 5 sentenced to death for blasphemy

    Asia Bibi is still incarcerated in Pakistan.
    Her family are in hiding following death threats.


    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asia_Bibi

    http://www.callformercy.com/

    http://youtu.be/T6q_enbv-DM

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...&v=tAivnlsrYfU

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    Default Re: Mother of 5 sentenced to death for blasphemy

    Asia Bibi is still in a Pakistani prison under threat of death from both her Muslim fellow prisoners and the Pakistani judicial system.

    Her final appeal against the death sentence for alleged "blasphemy" is scheduled to be heard in October this year.

    Some brave Pakistani people risk death to support her cause but many journalists (Muslim and non-Muslim) are fearful of being targeted by Muslims and so do not report her side of the story or advocate for clemency.

    Two politicians, Minister Shahbaz Bhatti (the only Christian in the cabinet) and Salmaan Taseer Governor of Punjab were assassinated for supporting Asia.
    Salmaan Tasseer and his family had visited Asia several times in prison and both Bhatti and Taseer were well aware of the risk they were taken.




    Here Wilson Chowdhry, Chairman of the British Pakistani Christian Association, criticises previous governments of Pakistan for failing to free Asia:

    "I have spoken to Pakistani government officials and the judiciary. All of them express great shock at the ongoing abuse of her liberty. Yet Asia's tragedy continues. I have come to the conclusion that all I have been receiving is diplomatic lip service, devoid of passion for justice.

    "Asia's story is one of oppression and discrimination and despite international pressure, statutory authorities and the Government of Pakistan have failed her, just as they have failed all minorities in Pakistan.

    "Freedom for Asia Bibi would be a watershed moment in the campaign for justice, equality and freedom for minorities in Pakistan. Previous governments have failed miserably, but I believe the incumbent Government is genuinely attempting to restore the balance. I hope that effective protection is provided to Asia and her family, the judiciary and all persons that could make this latest appeal a success. Any half-hearted approach will undermine Asia's trial and create a further blight on Pakistan's reputation."


    Next Saturday (10/9/16) the Irish organisation Church in Chains will be holding their annual conference in Clarion hotel, Liffey Valley, Dublin.

    They have been campaigning for Asia to be freed and for the many other Christians in similar plights throughout the world.

    The main speaker is Rev Soja Bewarang (NIGERIA)

    ADMISSION FREE

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    Default Re: Mother of 5 sentenced to death for blasphemy

    Asia's final appeal against the death sentence is scheduled for 13th of this month.


    Asia Bibi's final appeal against the death sentence for blasphemy has been scheduled to be heard by Pakistan's Supreme Court next Thursday (13 October).

    Khalil Tahir Sindhu, one of Asia Bibi's lawyers, has told UK Christian radio station Premier that if Asia is not acquitted she could be hanged within thirty days of the verdict, but says he believes she will be acquitted because of lack of evidence against her.

    Khalil, who has visited Asia in prison, said: "She is very, very strong in her faith. There were so many attempts to convert her but she said 'No – I will remain faithful to Jesus Christ' and she has remained faithful."

    More here: http://www.churchinchains.ie/node/914

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    Default Re: Mother of 5 sentenced to death for blasphemy

    Asia Bibi's appeal has been postponed:

    Earlier today, Ashiq Masih (husband of Asia Bibi) attended Pakistan's Supreme Court in Islamabad which was due to hear the evidence in Asia's final appeal against the death sentence for blasphemy.

    However, no evidence was heard as one of the three judges recused himself from the case, and the appeal was adjourned with no new date being set. For Asia (who remained in prison and was not in court) it was yet another delay in her quest for justice.
    Asia was not in court for the appeal hearing but her husband Ashiq Masih was (picture shows him outside the court). The adjournment came after Justice Iqbal Hameed-ur-Rehman told the court he had to recuse himself, claiming a conflict of interest. "I was a part of the bench that was hearing the case of Salman Taseer [the Governor of Punjab who was assassinated after supporting Asia Bibi], and this case is related to that," he told the court. The judges wrote to the chief justice of Pakistan asking him to appoint another judge to the bench.

    The Supreme Court did not immediately set a new date for the appeal though one of Asia's lawyers is hopeful that it may be heard in early November.

    There was heightened security in Islamabad with over 100 riot police deployed around the court and over 3,000 members of the security forces on standby elsewhere in the city. On the eve of the hearing, a Muslim extremist group, the "Shuhada Foundation", said its supporters would take to the streets and would not allow the government to function if Asia were released.

    "We are seriously concerned at the efforts for the release of blasphemous Asia Masih and will consider those blasphemous who defend her, whoever they are and in whichever position they are working," said Hafiz Ehtesham Ahmad, spokesperson for the foundation. He also warned of "serious consequences" if Asia were allowed to go abroad.

    Zohra Yusuf, chair of the independent Human Rights Commission in Pakistan, said that the appeal delay was "regrettable", noting that Asia Bibi was already being held in solitary confinement due to security concerns. The judges may be "apprehensive", she said, adding that after the Supreme Court announced its decision to uphold Mumtaz Qadri's death sentence for assassinating Salman Taseer, justices had to sneak out the back door to the court. "It's a sensitive case. I think they [the judges] have realised that if Asia Bibi [is] acquitted, they may be putting their own lives on the line," Yusuf said.

    (AFP, Express Tribune, Release International)

    Above from here: http://www.churchinchains.ie/node/915

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    Default Re: Mother of 5 sentenced to death for blasphemy

    Chief Justice rejects request for June hearing of Asia Bibi’s appeal.

    From Church in Chains:


    Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar (pictured) has turned down a request from Asia Bibi’s lawyer that her Supreme Court appeal be heard in June.

    Asia’s lawyer, Saiful Malook, moved an early hearing application in mid-April, requesting that the appeal (against her conviction and death sentence under the blasphemy law) be fixed for the first week of June. No reason was given by the Chief Justice for refusing the application.

    Asia-Bibi-Prison-–-Square_1Asia has been in prison since June 2009. After several court hearings and many delays, the High Court ruled against her in October 2014. Her lawyers immediately appealed to the Supreme Court and following several further delays the case was listed for hearing in October 2016.

    However, it was immediately adjourned because one of the three judges recused himself, claiming a conflict of interest as he had been on the bench in a related case. If the death sentence is upheld by the Supreme Court, Asia’s only hope will be a presidential pardon.

    Grounds for appeal

    Mr Malook said that Asia’s case in the Supreme Court appeal is that the High Court, while upholding the trial court sentence, failed to take into consideration the statement made by her under Section 342 of the Code of Criminal Procedure wherein she stated that she “had offered oath to police on the Bible that she had never passed derogatory and shameful remarks against the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) and the Holy Quran.”

    The appeal also argued that the police had conspired with the complainant to make a false accusation and that the evidence of the prosecution witnesses was motivated by previous arguments they had with Asia Bibi.

    Mr Malook also said that the High Court had failed to extend the benefit of doubt to Asia Bibi on account of a long delay of five days in the initial registration of the case which followed “deliberation and consultation among different Muslim religious leaders before the registration of the case. It was a well-settled principle of criminal law that unexplained delay in the registration of the criminal case, caused serious doubts on the veracity of the evidence.”

    (Dawn, Express Tribune)

    Church in Chains has written to the Pakistani Chargé d’Affaires in Dublin expressing deep disappointment at this further delay in hearing Asia’s appeal and pointing out that Asia has now been in prison for almost eight years in a case that casts grave doubt on the operation of justice in Pakistan. The letter appeals to the Pakistani government to act immediately to ensure that the Supreme Court appeal is heard without further delay and emphasises that Asia’s case is a clear example that “justice delayed is justice denied”.

    Background

    Asia Bibi is a Christian farm labourer from Punjab province in northeast Pakistan. On 14 June 2009, when picking berries in the fields with three Muslim women, Asia went to fetch water. The women refused to drink from the bowl she brought, saying the water had been brought by an “untouchable” and was “unclean”. After an argument, one of the women told the local imam that Asia had said: “Jesus Christ died on the cross for me – what did Mohammed ever do for you?” The imam filed a blasphemy case, local men beat Asia and the police took her into custody for protection.

    In November 2010, she was sentenced to death. Over the years, Islamists have persistently called for Asia’s execution, and Muslim clerics put a bounty on her head. Two politicians who supported her and spoke out against Pakistan’s blasphemy laws have been assassinated.

    Asia is married to Ashiq Masih and they have two daughters, Isha (18) and Isham (17), who has an intellectual disability and walking difficulties. Since Asia was accused of blasphemy, the family has been forced into hiding to avoid attack, and has had to move several times.



    Link: http://www.churchinchains.ie/news-by...-bibis-appeal/

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