Pakistan must end Aasia Bibi’s ordeal

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Aasia Bibi, a mother of five accused of blasphemy, will have her last chance of a court appeal hearing on the 22nd July 2015. The poor Christian mother was implicated in Pakistan’s draconian blasphemy laws after she had an argument with her Muslim co-workers in June, 2009. 

Global Minorities Alliance (GMA), a Glasgow based organisation which fights for persecuted minorities, is calling on Pakistan’s Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif, to ensure a safe passage and rule of law to the poor mother. She has been on the verge of death due to medical conditions.

Imprisoned mother and wife Aasia Bibi has been languishing in prison since 2009 in solitary confinement which has had a considerable effect on her health.  She is reported to have internal bleeding and is ‘spewing blood’ due to poor health conditions.  In Pakistan, those accused of blasphemy are often poisoned, beaten and sometimes killed by fellow inmates or even by radicalised policemen who feel its their ‘obligation’ to kill those accused of blasphemy.

It is also believed that a bounty has been placed on her head by radical Muslims who believe that Aasia Bibi should be killed even if she is released by the court. The price on Bibi’s head, even though it may be as low as £60, poses an additional threat to her and her family. 

 In a message of support and solidarity, Fareed Ahmad, National Secretary of External Affairs of Ahmadiyya Muslim community UK told Global Minorities Alliance: 

“It is deeply distressing that Aasia Bibi has been on death row in Pakistan for nearly 6 years due to charges of blasphemy. The founder of Pakistan Mohammad Ali Jinnah was a passionate advocate for freedom of religion and it is shocking to see how far the country has moved away from such noble principles.”

Commenting on the blasphemy laws, which are instruments of persecution for all minorities, Mr Ahmad said:

 “The blasphemy laws are a blot on Pakistan’s landscape and are simply used to settle personal disputes. The blasphemy laws have no basis in Islam and should be repealed. Islam promotes freedom in matters of faith and we pray that Aasia Bibi is granted clemency and released. We also pray that all Christians in Pakistan are granted full freedom to practise their faith and live in complete peace.”

 Manassi Bernard, Global Minorities Alliance Chief Executive, said:

“It is appalling how drinking a glass of water and the argument which ensued could result in solitary confinement for six years with death threats from within the prisons and from the outside world. Aasia Bibi has become an embodiment of persecution and oppression and she should be given safe passage and rule of law.”

“Aasia bibi is an embodiment of determination, faith and courage in the face of persecution. We urge Pakistan’s government to end the misery and persecution of this poor mother, Aasia Bibi, and ensure a safe passage to security so that she can re-start her life with her family without fear and death threats.”

See Global Minorities Alliance full song in support and solidarity with Aasia Bibi written, composed and sung by GMA’s members https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2kHtmsPgGik

Free Aasia Bibi Song
Members of Global Minorities Alliance wrote, composed and sang this song in support and solidarity of poor mother of five on death row in Pakistan over blasp…

Pakistan Independence: Prisoners of Persecution

Report: Violence Towards Religious Communities in Pakistan

By United States Commission on International Religious Freedom

http://goo.gl/yHjH0gThe Religious Violence Project, an undertaking of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, has tracked publicly-reported attacks against religious communities in Pakistan over the past 30 months. The latest report covers the period from July 2013 to June 2014, during which 122 incidents of sectarian violence resulted in more than 1,200 casualties, including 430 deaths. While the number of attacks are slightly down from the previous year, they remain alarmingly high. The violence impacted both Muslim and non-Muslim religious communities, threatening Pakistan’s stability.

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Aasia Bibi: A life hanging in the balance

by Shahid Khan

Imagine a life in a solitary confinement, spending years in a dark dungeon, living with ceaseless agony, torture, uncertainty.

You are isolated from your family and friends. You receive threats not only from the outside world but also from those who are supposed to safeguard you. In Pakistan, for a blasphemy accused, fears are countless and the ones who police you can also be a threat to your life.

These are the traumas for Aasia Bibi, 45, an impoverished mother of five, who never knew what life was going to throw at her after having a heated argument in June 2009, which culminated in a death sentence due to Pakistan’s controversial blasphemy laws.

Last month the Pakistan courts announced another appeal date for 27 May 2014, after four previous appeal hearings were adjourned due to the mounting pressure from extremist and fundamentalist groups.

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