Pope Francis meets Aasia Bibi’s family

Bibi has been accused of insulting the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH)

Afp April 15, 2015
The daughters of Asia Bibi with an image of their mother, standing outside their residence in Sheikhupura on November 13, 2010. PHOTO: REUTERS

VATICAN CITY: Pope Francis on Wednesday met the husband and daughter of Aasia Bibi, Christian woman sentenced to death over blasphemy charges, the Vatican said.

"I pray for Asia, for you and for all Christians who are suffering," Francis told Bibi's husband Ashiq Masih and their 15-year-old daughter, according to the Vatican Insider website.

Mother of five Bibi has been on death row since a row broke out in 2009 with a group of women she was working with in a field.

Read: Asia Bibi losing hope on death row: family

They accused her of insulting the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH), a charge she denies. Soon afterwards, she was jailed and sentenced by a court to death by hanging.

Bibi's death sentence was confirmed in October 2014 by the Lahore High Court.

Helped by an NGO to travel to Europe, Bibi's husband and daughter are seeking to rally support for their cause. They want European officials to take up the issue with Islamabad.

Read: Court upholds death penalty of Aasia Bibi

Last November, the EU parliament called on Pakistan to overhaul its blasphemy laws with a view to repealing them, saying they were being used to target Christians and other minorities.

Bibi is waiting for the final ruling of the Supreme Court.

Her case is set to go back to trial in May.

During the recent Easter celebration, Bibi asked Pope Francis to pray for her. Several months earlier, she had sent him a letter.

Pope Francis is widely seen as a champion of the poor and marginalised.

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

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COMMENTS (2)

Whiskey Khan | 5 years ago | Reply | Recommend Since Pakistan politician and the Law makers have failed to protect those (often falsely ) accused of blasphemy, The international community should step in to pressure the Pakistan Govt. to change the law or provide safety to all those who are exploited by this unjust Law. "You are Innocent till proven guilty"
unbelievable | 5 years ago | Reply | Recommend Good - about time this got some International attention as the Pakistan politicians don't have the guts to take on religious extremism. This women served in the defense of Pakistan - how many Imam's or politicians can say the same?
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