Daily Archives: November 12, 2010

Outcry over death sentence for ‘blasphemy’ mother who offered farmhands water

A press release by AFP published in the Sydney Morning Herald forwarded by the Asian Human Rights Commission

A Pakistani court has sentenced to death a Christian mother of five for blasphemy, the first such conviction of a woman and sparking protests from rights groups.

Asia Bibi, 45, was sentenced on Monday by a local court in Nankana district in Pakistan’s central province Punjab, about 75km west of the country’s cultural capital of Lahore.

Pakistan has yet to execute anyone for blasphemy, but the case spotlights the Muslim country’s controversial laws on the subject which rights activists say encourages Islamist extremism in a nation wracked by Taliban attacks.

Ms Bibi’s case dates back to June 2009 when she was asked to fetch water while out working in the fields.

But a group of Muslim women labourers objected, saying that as a non-Muslim, she should not touch the water bowl. Continue reading

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SHAME ON US AS PAKISTANIS. REPEAL THE BLASPHEMY LAW.

Do you honestly think the world is not justified in thinking us as a buncha crazies?-YLH

From Dawn:

woman sentenced to death in blasphemy case
From the Newspaper
(7 hours ago) Today

Human rights activists want the controversial legislation repealed, saying it was exploited for personal enmity and encourages extremism. – File Photo

LAHORE: A Christian mother of five has been sentenced to death for blasphemy, the first such conviction of a woman, sparking protests from rights groups on Thursday.

Asia Bibi, 45, was handed down the death sentence by a court in Nankana district in central Punjab on Monday.

Pakistan has yet to execute anyone for blasphemy. Ms Asia’s case dates back to June 2009 when she was asked to fetch water while out working in the fields. But a group of Muslim women labourers objected, saying that as a non-Muslim she should not touch the water bowl.

A few days later the women went to a local cleric and alleged that Ms Asia made derogatory remarks about the Prophet (peace be upon him). The cleric went to police, who opened an investigation.

Ms Asia was arrested in Ittanwalai village and prosecuted under Section 295-C of the PPC, which carries the death penalty.

Husband Ashiq Masih, 51, said he would appeal her death sentence.

Human rights activists want the controversial legislation repealed, saying it was exploited for personal enmity and encourages extremism.

“The blasphemy law is absolutely obscene and it needs to be repealed in totality,” Human Rights Watch spokesman Ali Dayan Hasan said. —AFP

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