A Christian woman — 46-year-old Asia Bibi — has been sentenced to death by hanging in Pakistan after she was convicted of making “blasphemous” comments about the prophet Mohammed during a heated argument with a group of Muslim women who objected to sharing water with her, because her faith made Asia “unclean”. International outrage and appeals for justice with the Pakistani government have failed.
The altercation occurred in 2009 when Ms. Bibi worked as a berry picker. Shortly after the incident one of the Muslim women who took part in the argument reported the Christian woman to a local cleric, saying that she had made disparaging remarks about the prophet Mohammed. An angry mob promptly arrived at Ms Bibi’s home and beat her and her family. Ms. Bibi was then arrested, charged with blasphemy and sentenced to death, while her family was forced to go into hiding to protect their lives.
Finally, this week, despite a huge international outrage and hundreds of thousands of people signing a petition for the woman’s release, Ms. Bibi lost her appeal to have the death sentence overturned and is now facing death by hanging.
The case was recently in the news after two prominent Pakistani politicians who tried to help Ms Bibi were assassinated, one of them by his own bodyguard. Even more incredible was the reaction of lawyers who showered the murderer with rose petals when he showed up in court. And even that was not all — the judge who convicted him was forced to flee the country.
A Muslim prayer leader who appeared at Ms. Bibi’s trial, testified that he was not present at the original altercation, but that the accused had confessed to the alleged crime in front of him. (Scroll down for the video.)
1. Christian woman Asia Bibi, pictured, has seen her appeal against the death sentence denied.
Naeem Shakir, Ms. Bibi’s lawyer, said that he “will file an appeal to the Supreme Court of Pakistan in a few days”.
Pope Benedict XVI, among others, publicly called for clemency for Ms. Bibi, speaking of his “spiritual closeness” with her and urging that “human dignity and fundamental rights of everyone in similar situations” be respected.
Several online petitions have called for Ms. Bibi’s release, one of which has collected over 400,000 signatures from people in more than 100 countries.
2. Ashiq Maseeh, husband of Asia Bibi, along with his daughters Sidra, second left, and Esham, left, speak to Pakistani Minister of Minority Affairs Shahbaz Bhatti, right. He was later murdered.
3. The daughters of Mrs Bibi pose with an image of their mother who faces death by hanging.
4. Protesters hold up placards while demanding the release of Mrs Bibi at a rally in Lahore in 2010.
And here is the video:
Source: The Mail Online.
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