Catholics in Pakistan
Archdiocese of Lahore

Asia Bibi: 7th Christmas in Jail on Death Row in Pakistan

Pakistani Christian mother of five Asia Bibi is spending her seventh Christmas in prison after her death sentence appeal was put on hold in October when a judge abruptly recused himself from hearing her case.   

Bibi was accused of blasphemy in 2009 after she had an altercation with several Muslim women who were enraged when she drank from the same water bowl they used since they consider Christians as unclean. In 2010, she was given a death sentence over allegations that she had insulted the prophet Muhammad during the argument, The Christian Post details.

In a phone interview with the Post, International Christian Concern’s South Asia regional manager William Stark expressed concern over Pakistan’s blasphemy laws. He said they’ll just have to wait and see what will happen to Bibi’s case, but he feels positive based on the latest court rulings concerning the religious rights of minorities.

“Hopefully in 2017, the Pakistani Supreme Court will form a new bench and will be able to hear her case,” Stark told the Post. “And, frankly, if the case is actually heard on the merits, the Supreme Court has no other option but to find for her and actually let her go.”

If the court reject Bibi’s death sentence appeal, she will be the first woman to be executed in the country over blasphemy charges.

Last year, Bibi’s family voiced out their worries over the Christian mother’s deteriorating health after visiting her in jail. The Global Dispatch reported that she had intestinal bleeding which needed medical treatment.

In addition, her family claimed that Bibi could hardly walk because of weakness. They told that the Christian mother had developed stomach problems, causing her to vomit blood, have chest pains, and have difficulty in eating.

During that time, Bibi’s lawyers took legal actions to secure prompt medical treatment for her client. She was later moved to the jail in Lahore, which is closer to her family and has better medical facilities.

(Source: The Christian Post)

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