L-R Shamim Masih and Ashiq Masih
By Shamim Masih
A farm worker also a mother of 5, Asia Bibi has been kept away from her children for five years and four months. Her crime? Although an untouchable Christian, she dared to drink water from the same well as her colleagues. Later she was accused of committing blasphemy.
Asia Bibi has been in jail since June 19th, 2009 – she was sentenced to death by the additional District and Sessions Judge Justice Muhammad Naveed Iqbal, despite a huge lack of evidence, in November, 2010. On 16th October, 2014, a special division bench of the Lahore High Court dismissed her sentence appeal, condemning her to further time in the squalid prisons of Pakistan. Read more (here)
Ashiq Masih, husband of the Victim Asia Bibi, was weeping bitterly when I met him.
“This appeal was ray of hope but the rejection of the appeal has shattered my confidence in the Pakistani legal system”.
Ashiq Masih who attended the court hearing described how the judges were under pressure. He told me that there were a large number of Muslim Clerics and leaders continually shouting “blasphemer!” and “kill her!”
“I have not told my children about the court decision. How can I? I am too scared of their reaction – they are all ready very depressed. We all were expecting her to come home and now this happens?”
He told us that both he and Asia are still confident that they will succeed with an appeal to the Supreme Court.
His legal team are preparing documents which will definitely bee submitted within the 30 day window open to them. Ashiq Masih said; “My legal advisors seem extremely confident that the Supreme Court will quash this sentence.”
Join our London protest for Asia Bibi today (Click here)
Asia Bibi became the first woman to be convicted of a death sentence on blasphemy charges (Shaguftaa Bibi was awarded death sentences on the same charges this year).
The BPCA is continuing our appeal fund that will be used to support the family of Asia Bibi. Money raised will pay for her children’s school fees, be used towards her legal costs, wedding costs for her children, secure visits to her prison and other domestic concerns. If you would like to contribute to our support for Asia our bank details are as follows:
Sort Code: 20-67-90 Account number: 63468976 Bank: Barclays
Ref: Asia Bibi Appeal
Alternatively if you would like to send an immediate donation please use the pay-pal facility on the top right hand corner of our blog, or simply send a cheque made payable to the BPCA to our address; 57 Green Lane, Ilford, Essex, IG1 1XG.
With your support we hope to change the lives of millions of Christians in Pakistan.