The 9th Anniversary of Asia Bibi’s internment for Blasphemy

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Pakistan’s most famous victim of the blasphemy law.

9 Years ago, Asia Bibi was arrested in a village near Lahore for having the temerity to share a drinking well with her Muslim fellow villagers. In Pakistan Christians are often considered unclean and impure, partially because they are the only people who clean and unblock sewage and toilets. Part of the reason is the thrall the uneducated classes are under from the local maulvi (muslim priest), themselves often uneducated.

The villagers claimed she had committed blasphemy and she was subsequently arrested. Since the last nine years she has been locked up.

Salman Taseer, the governor of Punjab, Pakistan’s largest province helped her in her appeal for clemency. He was murdered by his fanatic bodyguard, who has since become a hero among other fanatics.

 

Victims of The Blasphemy Law
Asia Bibi’s daughters with their mother’s photo.

 

 

Pakistani Police Not Following Legal Procedures For Blasphemy Law Cases

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Human rights organisations are expressing concern that the police are abandoning legal procedures when it comes to Blasphemy Law cases.  In 2017 alone 50 people were jailed on blasphemy charges. Out of these 17 were sentenced to death.

The verdict in the Mashal Khan case verdict was cited as the example¬†of badly presented facts and the unnecessarily complex nature of the law in Pakistan. This causes most blasphemy law cases to drag on interminably in the courts. One famous example is Asia Bibi’s case, pending since October 2016.

The 2017 International Religious Freedom Report published by the US State Department r the year 2017 report a dire situation of minorities and religious freedom rights in Pakistan during the year.

It recommended placing Pakistan on a special watch list for having engaged in severe violations of religious freedom under the 1998 International Religious Freedom Act.

It noted that the government has made an attempt to address some issues but the law remains unhelpful to minorities and does not compel the police to adequately investigate all aspects.

US religious freedom panel eyes Pakistan with worry

The Blasphemy Law
The Blasphemy Law Enjoys Support among a huge number of radicals