Asia Bibi losing hope on death row: family

She has been on death row since 2010 after being found guilty of making deroga­tory remark­s about Prophe­t...


Afp October 31, 2014

LAHORE: Christian woman condemned to death four years ago for blasphemy is losing hope that she will be freed or pardoned, her husband, who lives in hiding because of his wife's conviction, told AFP Friday.

Asia Bibi has been on death row since November 2010 after she was found guilty of making derogatory remarks about the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) during an argument with a Muslim woman.

A high court in the eastern city of Lahore confirmed the death sentence two weeks ago, dashing hopes it might be commuted to a jail term.

Speaking to AFP after visiting Bibi for the first time since the Lahore court's ruling, her husband Ashiq Masih said it had come as a crushing blow.

"Asia was hopeful that her appeal would be admitted and she would be freed, but now she has lost hope," Masih told AFP

"She was distraught, weeping for most of the time I had with her, appealing to the Supreme Court and president to use their powers to give her justice."

Pakistan has never executed anyone for blasphemy and has had a de-facto moratorium on civilian executions since 2008, but Bibi's case highlights the Islamic republic's controversial laws on the subject.

Blasphemy is a hugely sensitive subject in Pakistan, with even unproven allegations often prompting mob violence.

Masih, 50, lives in hiding with two of his five children and has to keep his identity secret as he scrapes together a living as a daily labourer.

The allegations against Bibi date back to June 2009, when she was labouring in a field and a row broke out with some Muslim women she was working with.

She was asked to fetch water, but the Muslim women 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.

Amnesty International has raised "serious concerns" about the fairness of her trial and has called for her release.

COMMENTS (15)

Bahadur khan | 6 years ago | Reply

Why doesn't pakistan goverment send her away to another country like masala yousufzai.

Raj - USA | 6 years ago | Reply

@Escape From Pakistan: Your situation is as painful as that of Asia Bibi. Loosing all property is itself painful but to leave behind your family also is extremely painful. I wish that your family is also able to move here soon.

My son has a very good friend here and they had been friends ever since their school days. They are Ismailis from Pakistan. Their entire family also had to escape Pakistan. Do not know if they escaped all at one time or separately. They have not only left Pakistan but have also left Islam. They still have their muslim names. They are doing very well here and own several businesses. We heard from them that there are few other such families here as well. When we moved to Africa in the late 60's many Ismailis have helped us. They owned many shops, stores gas stations and pharmacies there. They would give us credit though we had arrived in the country just days ago. It helped us a lot in settling down in a new country. They would also give us special concessional prices for merchandise we buy from their shops. We have regards for Ismailis and they are a peaceful community.

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