Pakistan: Christian woman sentenced to death in blasphemy case
A Christian mother of five has been sentenced to death for blasphemy, the first such conviction of a woman, sparking protests from rights groups on Thursday. Asia Bibi, 45, was handed down the death sentence by a court in Nankana district in central Punjab on Monday. Pakistan has yet to execute anyone for blasphemy. Ms Asia’s case dates back to June 2009 when she was asked to fetch water while out working in the fields. But a group of Muslim women labourers objected, saying that as a non-Muslim she should not touch the water bowl.
A few days later the women went to a local cleric and alleged that Ms Asia made derogatory remarks about the Prophet (peace be upon him). The cleric went to police, who opened an investigation.
Ms Asia was arrested in Ittanwalai village and prosecuted under Section 295-C of the PPC, which carries the death penalty.
Husband Ashiq Masih, 51, said he would appeal her death sentence.
Human rights activists want the controversial legislation repealed, saying it was exploited for personal enmity and encourages extremism.
“The blasphemy law is absolutely obscene and it needs to be repealed in totality,” Human Rights Watch spokesman Ali Dayan Hasan said. —AFP
- UN Special Rapporteur in Field of Cultural Rights on the Paris Attacks: “Crime against humanity, crime against culture”
- What ISIS has done to the lives of women
- There is no honour in barring women from voting
- Afghan clerics uneasy as civil rights movement gains momentum
- Aceh Prepares to Enforce Broader Sharia Criminal Code, With Stiffer Penalties
- We Strongly Condemn the Terrorist Attacks Taking Place in the Name of “Islam”
- Women Living Under Muslim Laws (WLUML) condemns the harassment of Sri Lankan activist Sharmila Seyyid
- Please acquit and release Asia Bibi
- Call for Iraqi Women Victimized by ISIS
- 'Stop the extreme group of monks called Bodu Bala Sena who ignites the religious hatred, enmity and violent oppressions in Srilanka
- Position Statement on Apostasy and Blasphemy
- Report of the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief, Heiner Bielefeldt, Human Rights Council 28th Session
- Shirkat Gah Newsheet March 2015
- Child, early and forced marriage in Pakistan: A submission to OHCHR
- Gender-Sensitive Media: A Voluntary Code of Ethics