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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