Fam­ily of Pak­istani Chris­tian on death row pray for free­dom

Kuwait Times - - International -

LON­DON: The fam­ily of Asia Bibi, a Chris­tian mother who faces be­com­ing the first per­son to be ex­e­cuted for blas­phemy in Pak­istan, said they hoped the Supreme Court would free her. But in any case they feared for their fu­ture liv­ing in Pak­istan un­der the blas­phemy laws, they told AFP. Bibi, who has been on death row since 2010, is at the cen­tre of the high-pro­file case that has di­vided Pak­istan and drawn prayers from the Vat­i­can. On Mon­day the Supreme Court heard her last ap­peal and said it had reached a judg­ment, which it has yet to re­veal.

“We are hope­ful that what­ever the court pro­ceed­ings are it will come out as pos­i­tive for us,” her hus­band Ashiq Me­sih said. Her daugh­ter Eisham Ashiq added: “I will be very happy the day my mother will be re­leased. I will hug her and will cry meet­ing her and will thank God that he has got her re­leased.” Bibi’s fam­ily are in Lon­don on a visit or­ga­nized by Aid to the Church in Need, a char­ity which helps re­pressed and per­se­cuted Chris­tians. Bibi, a la­borer, was ac­cused of blas­phemy against the Prophet Mo­hammed (PBUH) in 2009 by Mus­lim women she was work­ing with in a field.

The charge is pun­ish­able by death un­der leg­is­la­tion that rights groups say is rou­tinely abused to set­tle per­sonal vendet­tas. Her fam­ily said that if Bibi is re­leased, it would be dif­fi­cult to stay in her home­land. “Pak­istan is ours: we were born there, raised there,” Me­sih said. “The only ten­sion we have is the blas­phemy law. It is im­posed on Chris­tians. When it is im­posed on us our (Mus­lim) broth­ers should think that the Chris­tians never say any­thing bad about the Qu­ran. “Asia Bibi, af­ter her re­lease, can’t stay there in the pres­ence of this law. “Liv­ing in Pak­istan for us is very dif­fi­cult. We don’t go out of our home and if we go, we come out very care­fully.” Life in Pak­istan “for us is very dif­fi­cult”.

— AFP

LA­HORE: Sup­port­ers of Tehreek-e-Labaik Pak­istan (TLP), a hard­line re­li­gious po­lit­i­cal party, chant slo­gans dur­ing a protest rally in La­hore de­mand­ing for hang­ing to a blas­phemy con­vict Chris­tian woman Asia Bibi, who is on death row.

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