The complaint by the Foundation is fully supported by Ansar Burney, renowned Pakistani Muslim intellectual and former Federal Minister for Human Rights in Pakistan. Burney sent a letter to President Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Gilani asking to increase security measures for Asia Bibi and prosecute all those who have invited the militants to kill her. As it says in the letter, a copy of which was sent to Fides, Burney is very concerned that Asia Bibi (or other members of her family) could be killed in custody or during the appeal process. Burney strongly urges the government to stop “the elements that have openly announced their intention to kill her,” thereby committing a crime, and notes that “because of widespread lawlessness and the weakness of the Government, the extremists may very easily carry out summary executions outside the law in the name of Islam.” There are already 33 people, accused of blasphemy, who have been killed in jail or during the process,” records Burney, “as happened to two brothers, Rashid and Sajid Emmanuel, gunned down in front of the court in Faisalabad in July 2010 (see Fides 20 and 21/07/2010).
The “Human Rights Commission of Pakistan”, a prestigious local NGO, also remarked in a statement to Fides on the International Day for Human Rights, that “the rise of militancy and religious intolerance is a threat to human rights in the Country.” Asia Bibi’s death sentence for blasphemy, the Commission notes, is evidence “of the threats faced by citizens, based on an unjust law, and the selective application of these laws.” Furthermore, putting out an offer for her head, “lacks legal action, incitement to murder notwithstanding.”
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