Advocacy Update on Asia Bibi Case
Last week we received positive news regarding the case of Asia Bibi, the Pakistani Christian wife and mother facing a death sentence for blasphemy. She has been in solitary confinement for several years waiting for her appeal to go through. Last Wednesday, a three- member bench at the Supreme Court in Pakistan admitted the petition filed by Bibi’s lawyers. The acceptance of the appeal puts a hold on her death sentence, pending a review of the case.
Asia Bibi is the first woman to be sentenced to death under Pakistan’s blasphemy laws. She was arrested in 2009, accused of committing blasphemy while offering a co-worker a drink of water from a well designated for Muslims. She was sentenced to death in 2010.
This case has received international attention and has led to criticism of Pakistan’s blasphemy laws. Two Pakistani government leaders, who dared to speak out on her behalf, were assassinated: Punjab Governor Salman Taseer, a Muslim and Federal Minorities Minister Shahbaz Bhatti, a Catholic.
Many see the court’s recent decision to hear the appeal as a positive sign and are hopeful that this case will spark a reexamination of Pakistan’s controversial blasphemy laws. These laws are used against Muslims and Christians, alike, and are often used to settle personal grudges and disputes.
Please continue to pray that all charges will be dropped against Asia Bibi, and that she will be reunited with her family soon. Be a voice for Christians throughout this region of the world by signing Open Doors Special Envoy Petition. Asia Bibi’s case is one of many that underscore the need for President Obama to appoint a Special Envoy for Religious Minorities in the Near East and South Central Asia. We urge you to take action today and share this petition with your friends and family.