In breaking news from the Islamabad Supreme Court: The final verdict has been reserved until further notice.
The special bench of Pakistan’s Supreme Court has ruled on Asia Bibi’s death sentence appeal but has yet to render their verdict.
Media were left to scrum outside the courtroom as the court heard the final appeal on the most well-known blasphemy case in recent history.
Asia Bibi was working in a field with other women and shared water with them. Incensed that an “unclean” Christian had defiled their drinking water they took their complaint to a Imam who admittedly was not present to have her charged with blasphemy.
She has suffered violence, isolation from her family and bouts of poor health over the years and has served more time for blasphemy than anyone else in Pakistan’s recent history.
BPCA Lead Officer Mehwish Bhatti was in the courthouse standing outside the courtroom doors during the proceedings.
“They have come to a decision, but it has been reserved. The Chief Justice has banned media interference but all the journalists are talking about this.
“Earlier they took my Mobile for almost two hours after I tried to take a picture of the court house. The entrance of high profile people was from the other side, so nobody could see them.”
Asia’s husband, Ashiq Masih, continues to maintain that she is in staying strong. In response to Wilson Chowdhry’s inquiry at recent human rights event, he said:
“She is psychologically, physically and spiritually strong,” said Ashiq. “Having a very strong faith, she is ready and willing to die for Christ. She will never convert to Islam.” (click here)
There have been calls for prayer by Christians worldwide over the weekend who plead her innocence, whilst outrage has been registered on social media by Muslims who feel that she should not be forgiven and has not been punished enough. To read more about this (click here)
There is a high ratio of charges against those who practice the Christian faith in Pakistan as 15% of blasphemy charges are against minority Christians who are only a meagre 1.6% of Pakistan’s population.
Chairman of the BPCA Wilson Chowdhry, donated £1500 to Ashiq on Sunday whilst meeting him at Chester, to help pay for the cost of his solicitor. We continue our appeal for the family and you can donate by clicking (here)
Wilson Chowdhry said:
“I am confident that this is a good result having spoken to officials from the Pakistani Embassy in the UK, MEPs and various MPs and Lords who have been working diligently for freedom for Asia Bibi and others in the humanitarian field all share this confidence.”
“Reserving the decision seems like a move designed to enable Asia to escape retaliatory action from incensed extremists in the country, many of who have regulary rioted in response to every one of her previous appeal and threatened her with extrajudicial kiling if exonerated.”
“Asia has been a brave and resolute woman for the whole of her incarceration and has never lost one pinch of her faith.
“Her release when declared must be met with an immediate response through offers for asylum from every country in the West. She deserves no less for her great stoicism.
“Having spoken to Ashiq Masih only yesterday whilst at an event in Chester organised by Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need, I was advised of his deep concerns that his family may never be reunited.
“His gravest concern is that any asylum in the UK will not include for his married daughters meaning Asia will always be parted from some of those she loves. We urge Britian and other western nations to make more complete and wholesale offers of asylum.”
Please sign our petition and help Asia and her entire family seek asylum in the west.(click here)