Pakistan: A World Petition to Save Asia Bibi

Source: FSSPX News

A petition asking the Pakistani government to release Asia Bibi, has already gathered 580,000 signatures in 100 countries, reported news agency Fides on February 1, 2012.  The petition was launched a year ago by the American organization “Voice of Martyrs” (VOM) on the website www.callformercy.com, in the hope of obtaining a million signatures.

Asia Bibi, in her forties, mother of five children, was condemned to death for blasphemy in November 2012, after having been accused by some Muslim women of her village of insulting the prophet Mohammed.  These women had refused to drink water out of a glass Asia Bibi had just used, considering the water impure because the Christian woman had drunk before them.  Asia Bibi is presently detained in the Sheikhupura prison, in Pendjab, in the east of the country.

Her defense has brought the case before the Lahore High Court.  While awaiting the date of the reopening of the appeal, Fr. James Channan, O.P., director of the “Dominican Peace Center” in Lahore, explained the situation of the magistracy in Pakistan:  “Under pressure from Muslim extremists, it by no means guarantees justice, especially for religious minorities.  This is obvious in the trial courts, but it is also true of the Appeals Courts; remember, it was the Lahore High Court that blocked president Zardari when he wished to grant Asia Bibi presidential pardon; and today, a former president of this same High Court is the attorney for Mumtaz Qadri, the murderer of Salman Taseer, Governor of Punjab.”  “The long trail of homicides and kidnappings one after another” also goes to show that religious extremism is strong in this country, added Fr. Channan.  Today, the Christian community in Pakistan is especially worried about a possible alliance between the Muslim League and the fundamentalist Islamic religious parties in view of next year’s elections. (sources: apic/fides – DICI#250, Feb 17, 2012)

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