By Dan Wooding, Founder of ASSIST Ministries and the ASSIST News Service
PAKISTAN (ANS – July 16, 2015) — Asia Bibi, the Pakistani Christian mother-of-five who is on death row, has been given one last chance to challenge for her freedom from the noose, after a Supreme Court appeal date has been set for Wednesday, July 22nd, starting at 9.00am Pakistan time (5am GMT).
The British Pakistani Christian Association (BPCA) has called on Christians across the globe to pray for her freedom and for justice to be served through the courts.
One of the solicitors involved in the case has just contacted the BPCA officer, Mehwish Bhatti, to pass on who news.
Mehwish said: “I am pleased at this early date, the legal process in Pakistan can be so delayed. Perhaps the international pressure felt by our Government has resulted in the expedition of her case. I hope that this time the courts make the right decision and free sister Asia. Six years in a dingy, dark cell in complete isolation will no doubt have caused great trauma, especially when coupled with a nation’s unfair hatred.”
Asia Bibi, who was gang-raped, beaten and has served 5 years’ imprisonment for saying: “My Christ died for me, what did Muhammed do for you?” whilst being insulted for her faith, became the only victim of this sad and notorious incident.
“Her words have deemed by most religious experts from all faiths to be a harmless question that exhibits little to qualify as a blasphemy, yet Asia has been forced to cook her own food from raw ingredients and to live in isolation due to significant threats, bullying and attempts at taking her life,” said a spokesperson for BPCA in the UK.
“The imam who preached hatred towards her through a public tannoy (speaker) inciting people to hatred and who forced the blasphemy charges to be laid against her; the women who first beat her and insulted her God which she could not bear despite absorbing all personal insults; and the rapists who cruelly tortured and dishonored her have all kept their freedom.”
This is the last chance for freedom through legal process for Asia Bibi, and many humanitarians are questioning whether or not a Supreme Court Judge will vindicate poor Asia, in a society that has created pariah status for alleged blasphemers, especially Christians.
Chairman of the BPCA, Wilson Chowdhry said: “The draconian blasphemy law of Pakistan has been condemned globally and is a tool for discrimination, vendettas and hatred. The impunity with which perpetrators of false charges can stir up community hatred, magnified by the intolerance and similar permission for mosques to preach hatred, have created a toxic situation for minorities. They are now fleeing Pakistan in their droves with thousands upon thousands being re-persecuted in South-East Asian countries such as Thailand, Malaysia and Sri Lanka.”
He added: “Ignoring the plight of Pakistani Christians has backfired on Western nations enmeshed in duplicitous politics, based on trade agreements and the ostensible ally relationship of Pakistan in the war against terror. This has culminated in seeping extremism and hatred in the countries of the West which, if unchallenged, will one day result in similar terror closer to home. It is time for a global strategy that recognizes the need to resolve conflict and hatred in the Islamic world to stem precipitating animosities in countries foolishly deemed safe.”
He added, “We are working tirelessly to help end injustice for Asia Bibi but we can’t do it without you.”
For more information, please go to http://www.britishpakistanichristians.org, and if you would like to sign a petition for Asia Bibi, go to http://www.petitionbuzz.com/petitions/justice4asia
Photo captions: 1) Asia Bibi with her husband and two of her children. 2) Pakistani Christians protesting Asia Bibi’s death sentence. 3) Dan Wooding doing a TV report.
About the writer: Dan Wooding, 74, is an award-winning journalist who was born in Nigeria of British missionary parents, now living in Southern California with his wife Norma, to whom he has been married for nearly 52 years. They have two sons, Andrew and Peter, and six grandchildren who all live in the UK. He is the author of some 45 books.
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