The lawyer of the only Pakistani Christian woman to be sentenced to the death penalty for alleged blasphemy was able to visit her in prison October 21, and reported that she is safe and in good health.
The final appeal for Aasiya Noreen, commonly known as Asia Bibi, is pending before Pakistan’s highest court, after the Lahore High Court refused her appeal last October on technical grounds. The mother of five has been in prison since the summer of 2009, when she was arrested on charges of insulting the prophet of Islam.
Defense lawyer Saif-ul-Malook told World Watch Monitor that he was accompanied by Asia Bibi’s husband, Ashiq Masih, on his visit in the Multan Women’s Prison.
Through Malook, a prominent attorney and expert in Islamic law, Noreen has been allowed to make the final appeal against her death penalty sentence to the Supreme Court in Islamabad.
Malook told World Watch Monitor that since early October several foreign news agencies, including one from the Vatican, contacted him concerning news that Noreen’s health deteriorating. “After this, I decided to visit the prison and personally meet Asia, to ascertain if the news was correct,” he said.
“Only family of the inmate or the lawyer representing the convict can visit the chamber, so Ashiq and I went together to see her. Inmates on death row are separated and locked into an 8 by 10 foot chamber called a death cell,” Malook said.
“There are three death cells in this prison, and Asia is the only death convict, so two cells are empty. She has been given one servant who sits outside the lockup for any help,” the lawyer said. “Asia is probably the only prisoner in Pakistan who has been given a TV set in her cell. She looked healthy and normal, but I still asked her if she suffered any serious illness.”
“Asia has totally denied she ever suffered any serious illness since 2009 in prison. She became happy when I told her that she would soon be released,” her lawyer said.
Source: World Watch Monitor
Father God, we give You thanks in many ways for the life of Asia Bibi. We thank You for the saving faith You gave her that she might love and serve You with her life. We thank You for upholding and protecting her during these long years in prison. And, we thank You for the hope of her release. Today, we come before You seeking Your mercy in her upcoming appeal before the Supreme Court, seeking that justice might be served by releasing her from the charges. We lift up her husband and children, that You would sustain them and strengthen their faith in the midst of these trying times. We look with hope toward that day when she will be released into the arms of her beloved family. And, may the watching world see that You have done it. With the psalmist David (Psalm 22), we pray that “All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the Lord, and all the families of the nations will bow down before him, for dominion belongs to the Lord and he rules over the nations.” In the Name of Jesus, our Deliverer, Amen.