Christian Mom's Death Sentence Confirmed by Pakistani High Court

Monday, October 20, 2014

By Joseph DeCaro, Worthy News Correspondent

ISLAMABAD (Worthy News)-- The conviction and death sentence of Asia Bibi under Pakistan's blasphemy laws has been upheld by the Lahore High Court, according to International Christian Concern.

And if her sentence and conviction is confirmed by the Supreme Court, Bibi will be the first woman in Pakistan to be (lawfully) executed for violating its notorious blasphemy laws.

A Christian mother of five, Bibi has been on death row awaiting appeal since her conviction by the Session's Court in 2010. Her appeal -- which was delayed and rescheduled seven times -- was finally held Thursday.

After hours of arguments from lawyers on opposite sides of the appeal, Justice Anwar-ul-Haq confirmed Bibi's death sentence; Bibi and her lawyers now have 30 days to file an appeal with the Supreme Court of Pakistan.

"We will soon distribute sweets among our Muslim brothers for today's verdict," said Qari Saleem who brought the initial complaint against Bibi. "It's a victory [for] Islam."

The blasphemy accusation against Bibi came six days after a dispute that took place in 2009 between herself and a group of Muslim women with whom Bibi had been harvesting berries.

"The case against Asia Bibi is a great example of how Christians and other religious minorities are abused in Pakistan by fundamentalists wielding the controversial blasphemy laws," said William Stark, ICC's Regional Manager for South Asia. "The blasphemy laws were originally written to protect against religious intolerance in Pakistan, but the law has warped into a tool used by extremists and others to settle personal scores and persecute Pakistan's vulnerable religious minorities."