Pakistan: Asia Bibi NOT pardoned, protests are announced in case she is

This is an update of this story:

Federal Minorities Minister Shahbaz Bhatti will present Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari with a report on Asia Bibi, the Christian woman sentenced to death for blasphemy by a court in early November after more than a year in prison. “Innocent” is the conclusion of the minister’s investigation. “I will hopefully submit my report to the president on Wednesday and recommend to him to grant pardon to Asia Bibi,” The Dawn quoted him as saying.

The situation is tense in and around Ferozewala this morning when a private channel broadcast news about the imminent release of the accused Christian woman. People gathered near the district prison in Sheikhupura to find out whether the information was true or not. Prison officials denied the claim, saying that Asia Bibi was still in her cell.

Presidential spokesman Farhatullah Babar told AsiaNews that the president would vet the request for clemency when it arrived.

Requests for clemency come to the president through appropriate channels. The request will be examined once it is received. For now, I cannot comment on the issue,” he said.

In Nankana, local lawyers have decided to go on strike as a sign of protest against a statement made by Punjab Governor Salmaan Taseer, who said that Asia Bibi was innocent.

(…) Pakistan’s religious parties are putting pressure on the president not to grant Bibi a pardon. They have threatened street protests across the country if President Zardari signed the clemency petition.

via PAKISTAN Asia Bibi is innocent, minorities minister says in report to President Zardari – Asia News.

Pakistani “Minorities Minister”, Shahbaz Bhatti, himself a Christian, is supporting Asia Bibi.

Some days ago she spoke in a press conference with the province’s governor and stated that “I didn’t blaspheme against Mohammed. We all recognise him as the last prophet“, something striking if we consider that she had previously told the judge that she”preferred to die as a Christian than to live as a Muslim“. She also had claimed she was raped before being taken into police custody. I would like to know how she has been treated, if she has been tortured, menaced or anything else.

I hope she is released. But I am not the lest optimistic about the state in which she is going to be released. Blasphemers and apostates are killed in prison or after they have been released, as punishment for their sin.

Related: FB page in support of Asia Bibi.


11 comments on “Pakistan: Asia Bibi NOT pardoned, protests are announced in case she is

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Noatodo and AIC, Claudia. Claudia said: Pakistan: Asia Bibi NOT pardoned, protests are announced if she is: […]

  2. Early Light says:

    The problem isn’t the government per se. The convictions on blasphemy get overturned in higher courts on appeal. The problem is that the blasphemy laws exist in Pakistan, and give moral ammunition to mobs that lynch the accused while the police watches.

    • Claudia says:

      I totally agree, Early Light. Of course, the problem is constituted by the blasphemy laws. But NO GOVERNMENT has EVER CRITISIZED it.

      The reason? Pakistan has nuclear weapons, they don’t want to further destabilise it and make it possible for AQ or any other Islamist group to oust the Government and became the ruler of the country.

      But I don’t think that being so admirably soft with them is good at all. Islamism is growing, NOW. And the madrassas have a lot to do with it. And the blasphemy laws. If nothing is done about those two things, Pakistan is going to go deep down the Islamist path, each day nearer. With or without criticism from foreign countries… 😦

  3. Angel says:

    the horror marches on outrageous eh…………

  4. […] Pakistan: Asia Bibi NOT pardoned, protests are announced in case she is. […]

  5. […] Pakistan: Asia Bibi NOT pardoned, protests are announced in case she is. […]

  6. […] Pakistan: Asia Bibi NOT pardoned, protests are announced in case she is. […]

  7. kaafir says:

    What do you expect from a backwards country whose people all have the same names. They need to shut these imams up. And the government is just as screwed up as the other countries over there..Stone age apes who just learned to throw stones at people and they need to kill someone or something just for the thrill of killing.

    • Claudia says:

      Please, kaafir I’m going to ask not to call Muslims apes, even if an important part of them actually behave worse than any animal, including apes. I think that apes would actually find insulting this kind of comparison… :mrgreen:

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