UCA News Catholic Dioceses in Asia
UCA News Catholic Dioceses in Asia
UCA News Catholic Dioceses in Asia
UCA News

Pakistan

Pakistan's top judge to hear Asia Bibi's death sentence appeal

Catholic mother's lawyer has high hopes her conviction will be struck down by Supreme Court

Mission in Asia | Make a Contribution
Mission in Asia | Make a Contribution
Pakistan's top judge to hear Asia Bibi's death sentence appeal

A photo taken Oct. 29, 2014, of a sign used during a Paris demonstration supporting Asia Bibi, a Catholic mother of five who was sentenced to death for blasphemy in 2010 after being accused by Muslim women of insulting the Prophet Muhammad. (Photo by Martin Bureau/AFP)

Share this article :
Pakistan's top judge has announced he will take up the appeal of a Catholic mother of five children who has been on death row since 2010 for blasphemy.

Chief Justice Saqib Nisar told lawyer Saif ul Malook — the chief counsel for Asia Bibi — to prepare for her appeal.

"Be ready, Saif ul Malook. I am going to fix your case soon and I myself will preside over the bench," Nisar told Malook on April 21.

The judge made his comments as the lawyer appeared before the Supreme Court seeking police protection for taking on Bibi's case after it had been withdrawn by the Punjab police. Nisar ordered the Punjab police to again provide Malook with protection.

Malook said that he had high hopes of Bibi's conviction being struck down by the Supreme Court.

"Bibi's family and everyone else who understands her ordeal, are ecstatic at the news that her appeal will be heard soon," Malook said.  

Bibi was arrested in 2009 for allegedly insulting the Prophet Muhammad during an argument with Muslim women at an orchard in a small town in Punjab province.

Bibi has maintained her innocence and said she was punished for daring to drink water meant for Muslims only. Many Muslims in the Islamist country regard Christians as impure due to a deep-rooted culture of religious discrimination.

In November 2010, a trial court convicted Asia Bibi for blasphemy and sentenced her to death. Four years later, the Lahore High Court upheld her death sentence.

The Supreme Court admitted her appeal in July 2015 and the first appeal took place on Oct. 13, 2016, but the top court adjourned the hearing after one of the three judges on the bench, Justice Iqbal Hameed-ur-Rehman, recused himself, claiming a conflict of interest.

Since then the Supreme Court has been unable to set up a new bench to hear Bibi's appeal. This appears to have now changed with Nisar's court declaration.

Support UCA News...

As 2020 unfolds, we are asking readers like you to help us keep Union of Catholic Asian News (UCA News) free so it can be accessed from anywhere in the world at no cost.

That has been our policy for years and was made possible by donations from European Catholic funding agencies. However, like the Church in Europe, these agencies are in decline and the immediate and urgent claims on their funds for humanitarian emergencies in Africa and parts of Asia mean there is much less to distribute than there was even a decade ago.

Forty years ago, when UCA News was founded, Asia was a very different place - many poor and underdeveloped countries with large populations to feed, political instability and economies too often poised on the edge of collapse. Today, Asia is the economic engine room of the world and funding agencies quite rightly look to UCA News to do more to fund itself.

UCA News has a unique product developed from a view of the world and the Church through informed Catholic eyes. Our journalistic standards are as high as any in the quality press; our focus is particularly on a fast-growing part of the world - Asia - where, in some countries the Church is growing faster than pastoral resources can respond to - South Korea, Vietnam and India to name just three.

And UCA News has the advantage of having in its ranks local reporters that cover 22 countries and experienced native English-speaking editors to render stories that are informative, informed and perceptive.

We report from the ground where other news services simply can't or won't go. We report the stories of local people and their experiences in a way that Western news outlets simply don't have the resources to reach. And we report on the emerging life of new Churches in old lands where being a Catholic can at times be very dangerous.

With dwindling support from funding partners in Europe and the USA, we need to call on the support of those who benefit from our work.

Click here to find out the ways you can support UCA News. You can make a difference for as little as US$5...
UCAN Donate
UCA Newsletter
YOUR DAILY
NEWSLETTER
Thank you. You are now signed up to our Daily Full Bulletin newsletter

Also Read

UCA News Podcast
UCAN Ad
 
Mission in Asia | Make a Contribution
Mission in Asia | Make a Contribution
Mission in Asia | Make a Contribution