Critical Update for Asia Bibi’s Death Sentence Appeal in Pakistan | American Center for Law and Justice
  Search  |  Login  |  Register

ACLJ Profile Completion

Verified

Asia Bibi’s Death Sentence Appeal Update

By Shaheryar Gill1472049394446

Asia Bibi, the Christian mother of five from Pakistan sentenced to death for her faith, could soon have her final appeal date with her life on the line.

Pakistan’s highest court has accepted Asia Bibi’s request for an early hearing. Asia, a Christian mother of five, has been in prison since June 2009 for allegations of blasphemy. Two of her co-workers alleged that she uttered derogatory remarks against the prophet Muhammad, a crime punishable with the mandatory death penalty.

In November 2010, the trial court sentenced Asia to death. Four years later, the Lahore High Court upheld her conviction while criticizing her defense during trial. The court noted that Asia’s counsel at trial had not cross-examined the two accusers. The High Court said that, because “the most relevant aspect of the prosecution case remained unrebutted,” the witness statements are “deemed to have been admitted by the defense.”

Asia’s new counsel, Saif ul Malook, filed an appeal with the Supreme Court noting multiple errors in the case. He argued, among other things, that the lower courts failed to take into consideration the unexplained delay of five days in registering the First Information Report (FIR). Asia was forced to confess to the crime before a mob of hundreds of Muslims and the case was registered “after due deliberation and consultation by [the local Muslim cleric].”

Under Pakistani law, such delay is considered harmful for the prosecution’s case because it shows that the accusers had planned the case with mala fide intention. In 2002, the Supreme Court reversed the conviction of Ayub Masih (a Christian on death row for blasphemy) over a few hours of delay in registering the FIR.

After hearing preliminary arguments, a three-justice panel granted leave to appeal.

More recently, after seeing reports of the possible hearing in October, attorneys from the European Centre for Law and Justice’s (ECLJ) affiliate in Pakistan, the Organization for Legal Aid (OLA), visited the Supreme Court’s office and spoke with Asia’s attorney. Both confirmed that a petition requesting a hearing in October had been filed and that the Court granted the petition. Normally it takes about three to five years for a case to come up for hearing before the Supreme Court. But since the petition for early hearing was granted, the case will be forwarded to the Court’s Registrar to set the date.

At the hearing, the Supreme Court will hear the argument and decide Asia’s fate. To date, Pakistan has not carried out the death penalty in a blasphemy case. However, hundreds have been killed extra-judicially by either violent mobs or drive-by shootings even after having been acquitted by the courts.

We ask you to pray for a positive outcome and for the safety of Asia, her family, and her attorney. We will update you as we receive more information.

Save Asia Bibi from Execution

Persecuted Church  Signatures

LOGIN

Receive the latest news, updates, and contribution opportunities from ACLJ.

$20
$40
$60
$120
$240
Make this a monthly tax-deductible gift.

We’re mobilizing our offices worldwide to fight for Christian mom Asia Bibi’s freedom. Support our work and make a huge impact today.

Email Address is required.
First Name is required.
Last Name is required.
Credit Card Number is required.
Verification Code is required.
Expiration Month is required.
Expiration Year is required.
Receive the latest news, updates, and contribution opportunities from ACLJ.
Encourage your friends to sign and donate by sharing this petition.

ACLJ Files Critical Submission Defending Christians in China

By CeCe Heil1603398016655

We have told you about China’s continuous persecution of Christians and attacks on religious liberty. These attacks span from arbitrarily arresting pastors to surveilling churches and even implementing laws and regulations that essentially regulate what religious groups can and cannot say. Through...

read more

Myanmar, China, and a Rogue Gallery of Nations Cause a Stir at UN

By CeCe Heil1602009285621

Recently when a United Nations (U.N.) Special Rapporteur attempted to address the human rights violations being committed in Myanmar (Burma), rather than deny the claims, Myanmar attempted to flip the script and objected to being exposed. We’ve told you how we are currently working through our...

read more

Pastor & Wife Flee Iran After 15-Year Sentence for Celebrating Christmas

By Jordan Sekulow1600103525119

A Christian pastor and his wife are running for their lives after being arrested and SENTENCED TO PRISON FOR CELEBRATING CHRISTMAS , among other Christian traditions. Iranian-Assyrian Christian Pastor Victor Bet-Tamraz, 66, was sentenced to 10 years in prison, and his wife Shamiram Issavi, 65, was...

read more

The Plight of Sohail Masih – Christian Could Be Sentenced to Death

By Jordan Sekulow1598645328871

If you’re a Christian, you must be guilty. That seems to be the prevailing belief throughout Pakistan. As a result, Christians in the predominantly Muslim country face barbaric injustice and abuse – even death – under its archaic blasphemy laws, even when there isn’t a scrap of evidence against...

read more