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Asia Bibi Set to Face Pakistan's Supreme Court


Asia Bibi, a Pakistani Christian woman sentenced to death for blasphemy against Islam, will fight for her freedom in court in October. 

Bibi was convicted of blasphemy in 2010 after Muslim women told a cleric in a village in the eastern Punjab province that she had made "derogatory remarks" about the prophet. But the trouble actually began when the women objected to Bibi using their drinking glass because she was not a Muslim.

Her case is one of many examples of how the blasphemy law is often twisted to target Pakistan's Christian minority. 

Since her arrest in 2009, the international community has pressured Pakistan's strict government, calling for her release and reforms to the blasphemy laws. 

Asia's appeal was scheduled for March 26 of this year. However, rising tensions and protests against her appeal from Pakistan's Muslim community delayed her appeal in October. 

"One hundred thousand Muslims encamped during a sit in process outside Government buildings in Islamabad," Wilson Chowdhry, chairman of the British Pakistaini Christian Association told Anglican News. They were protesting the "proposed reforms of the blasphemy laws of Pakistan and death for Asia Bibi," he added. 

"The government caved in on the reforms which had passed through Parliament and were to be ratified in the Senate of Pakistan. Many Christians at this point thought Asia Bibi's luck had run out and that the government had failed her and other minorities – especially when they postponed her case due to the scale of social schism," Chowdry said. 

But after being a new court date in October, Bibi and her lawyers are working tirelessly to ensure her death sentenced is overturned. 

Chowdry believes a new sentence would be groundbreaking for Pakistan's religious minorities. 

"Freedom for Asia Bibi would be a watershed moment in the campaign for justice and freedom for minorities," he said. 

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