Court upholds death penalty of Aasia Bibi

Published: October 16, 2014
Protesters hold up placards while demanding the release of Asia Bibi at a rally in Lahore November 21, 2010. PHOTO: REUTERS

Protesters hold up placards while demanding the release of Asia Bibi at a rally in Lahore November 21, 2010. PHOTO: REUTERS

LAHORE: A court on Thursday upheld the death sentence of a Christian women convicted of blasphemy four years ago, as her lawyers vowed to appeal.

Aasia Bibi, a mother of five, has been on death row since November 2010 after she was found guilty of allegedly making derogatory remarks about Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) during an argument with a Muslim woman.

“A two-judge bench of the Lahore High Court dismissed the appeal of Asia Bibi but we will file an appeal in the Supreme Court of Pakistan,” her lawyer Shakir Chaudhry told AFP.

Two high-profile politicians — then Punjab governor Salmaan Taseer and minorities minister Shahbaz Bhatti — were murdered in 2011 after calling for reforms to the blasphemy law and describing Bibi’s trial as flawed.

The blasphemy allegations against Bibi date back to June 2009.

She was working in a field when she was asked to fetch water. Muslim women labourers objected, saying that as a non-Muslim she was unfit to touch the water bowl.

A few days later the women went to a local cleric and put forward the blasphemy allegations.

Over a dozen religious clerics — including Qari Saleem who brought forward the initial complaint against Bibi — were present at the court on Thursday.

“We will soon distribute sweets among our Muslim brothers for today’s verdict, it’s a victory of Islam,” Saleem told AFP outside the courtroom as the clerics congratulated each other and chanted religious slogans.

Last month a prison guard at the Adiala jail in Rawalpindi shot and wounded a 70-year-old Scottish man with a history of mental illness who is on death row for blasphemy.

The jail also houses Mumtaz Qadri, the former bodyguard of governor Taseer who gunned him down in an Islamabad market place.

Blasphemy carries the death penalty, though Pakistan has had a de facto moratorium on civilian hangings since 2008. Only one person has been executed since then, a soldier convicted by a court martial and hanged in November 2012.

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Reader Comments (25)

  • Oct 16, 2014 - 4:36PM

    With a Governor and a Minister slained for defending Aasia Bibi, what do we expect from a High Court or a Supreme Court judge? The country has gone to the dogs.


  • Fk
    Oct 16, 2014 - 4:44PM

    The LHC has proved is is afraid of Mullas and this is all happening in Punjab because of Sharifs they were behind this law. It is a trumped up case by illiterate women and a mullah. The LHC has lost its trust in the minds and hearts of Pakistanis who are of sane mind and thought. Shame


  • Dajjal
    Oct 16, 2014 - 4:47PM

    ““We will soon distribute sweets among our Muslim brothers for today’s verdict, it’s a victory of Islam,” Saleem told AFP outside the courtroom as the clerics congratulated each other and chanted religious slogans.”

    So much for everyone condemning Bill Maher and Sam Harris….


  • Whiskey Khan
    Oct 16, 2014 - 4:48PM

    This Law is worse then the Law of the jungle. It should be removed, Killing somebody for Blashmpy or religious belief is unacceptable in morden days. Pakistan judges are as guilty of dragging Pakistani to the Dark ages as the Law Makers.


  • Rashid
    Oct 16, 2014 - 4:53PM

    Yet another great advertisement for our great country in the international media. Expect a barrage of international ridicule and condemnation of Pakistan. On a different note, it is worthwhile to note we are literally dependent on alms from Christian countries for survival.


  • csmann
    Oct 16, 2014 - 5:04PM

    What have these bigots done to perpetrators of real blasphemy going on in the rest of the world.It is emasculate and impotent men catering to their conflated ego.It is no victory for Islam.It is victory for the oppressors,biased and wrongly guided.


  • Uza Syed
    Oct 16, 2014 - 5:20PM

    Instead of throwing out this case and prosecuting those following this black law—- actually manual of violation of human rights—— for an attempted murder case of an innocent citizen. These so called ‘blasphemy laws’ are as a matter fact the ugliest blot on anything that can be called or respected or followed as laws. Our courts must call these laws what they actually are—violation of basic human rights as guaranteed by our constitution and our Faith.


  • sadiq
    Oct 16, 2014 - 5:48PM

    Hard to believe this is what Islam and muslims have come to.


  • Waseem
    Oct 16, 2014 - 5:55PM

    blind law of injustice. so called law protects murderers and penalise innocent citizens.


  • Imran Ahmed
    Oct 16, 2014 - 5:56PM

    The quickest way to get rid of a bad law is to enforce it vigorously, Abe Lincoln said something like that a long time ago in a democracy.
    Unless we democratically protest against bad laws and bullies who force their evil beliefs on us do we even deserve the freedom to govern ourselves?


  • Oct 16, 2014 - 6:11PM

    That is Pakistan, an uncivilized nation. The women and the mullah who made a complaint against a labour lady with five children should feel shame for their actions. They are more criminal than the terrorists. Killing Muslims in other countries by international forces is justified by this judgement. Why this civilization should exist when they cannot live with other faiths.


  • Anushe
    Oct 16, 2014 - 6:16PM

    Funny how in this case the testimony of a handful of illiterate females is deemed sufficient. I wonder if the woman was raped would these testimonies hold? Oh of course, a MALE observer would have been needed! Pathetic double standard laws.


  • A J Khan
    Oct 16, 2014 - 6:41PM

    Judiciary is incapable of administering Justice. This is one such example. On the other hand it has failed to take up the case of self confessed murderer of Governor Salman Taseer.


  • seriously..
    Oct 16, 2014 - 6:49PM

    All mullahs should be hanged publicly. They are the reason that people now see islam as a hostile religion. Steps should be taken fast or else our religion would be taken over by Mumtaz Qadris really soon.


  • Ashfaq
    Oct 16, 2014 - 7:45PM

    Is this really Islam? Does it order to kill a mother of five for blasphemy? No its not. Rather these are mulllahs provoking it. All mullahs must be hanged publicly.


  • mazher
    Oct 17, 2014 - 2:03AM

    this is not justice ,, this is killing


  • mazher
    Oct 17, 2014 - 2:08AM

    this is killing of innocent woman ,, down with fanatics,, cruel person hide the real facts of that arguments of 2 woman ,,, hahaah fanatics don’t know the real sweetness of islam ,, down with cruel justice and fanatics


  • Praveen
    Oct 17, 2014 - 2:47AM

    Forget news,Read comments!
    This is wat Pakistan needed much before but its better to be late than never!

    ProgressivePakistan #YoungPakistan

    People r not because of any Religion but religions are surely because of people!
    A great Pakistan,A peaceful Pakistan, A growing Pakistan is need of time,for growing beard we have enough time!


  • cautious
    Oct 17, 2014 - 5:11AM

    And you wonder why the rest of the World thinks you don’t have a fair judicial system? You should not only get rid of the Blasphemy laws you should get rid of the judicial system that doesn’t work.


  • Mirza
    Oct 17, 2014 - 6:27AM

    Make no mistake about it but this country has already gone down. While hundreds of thousands go and sit for months for political power not many would come out to demand justice.
    Global observers say that if there is a single incident like cartoons, Salman Rushdi, Ray Davis or likes, Muslim come out on the streets to show disgust and outrage. However, never such outrage is seen when innocent minorities are blatantly victimized. The most some Muslims do is issue statments with no real outrage.. Let us see how many of our rightwing revolutionary leaders of New Pakistan come out against this.


  • What ??
    Oct 17, 2014 - 9:20AM

    ‘cant touch the water bowl being a non-muslim’
    I thought pakistanis were proud that they didn’t practice untouchability like their ancestors.Recommend

  • Oct 17, 2014 - 11:05AM

    These are the righteous judges of the High Court. Not dispensing
    Justice. but scared out of their skins. Like rats. Judiciary? They are
    a black bot on any judiciary.


  • Stuart
    Oct 17, 2014 - 9:24PM

    The only thing necessary for fanatics to triumph, is for moderates to object moderately.


  • Oct 18, 2014 - 5:16AM

    Pakistan was not born overnight on Aug 14 1947. It didn’t stop being India over a day. It slowly started move away from India and towards the Islamic world.

    As a result, the tolerance, the minorities, the culture it inherited from India are slowly disappearing, if not have already disappeared.

    That is why India and Pakistan went in different directions. India continued to be India, Pakistan went on to become Pakistan – unIndia.

    This case is a symptom of the phenemena.


  • lol
    Oct 26, 2014 - 4:29AM

    guess we will have to pick it up a bit


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