A bounty has been placed on Christian woman as she awaits execution in Pakistan for blasphemy
Pakistan/Aleteia (Aleteia.org) – Islamists are offering a reward to anyone who will kill Asia Bibi. Meanwhile, authorities hope that sickness will overcome the Christian woman languishing within the cell in which they have placed her.
Granting an award, which is estimated to be worth 80 Euros in Pakistan is guaranteed to foment a desire to kill Bibi.The Italian newspaper Avvenire reported that Islamists have promised this reward out of their desire to prevent her from escaping. They are openly proclaiming that they want Bibi to die; the first woman sentenced to death by hanging in Pakistan. This sentence was confirmed by the court of appeals last November, and the director of that court is subject to the rulings of the Supreme Court.
A Sentence of Three Years
Her husband confirmed to the British magazine Express that “the Islamists want her to die. They declared that they will be commissioned to carry out a mission [to kill her] if she is acquitted by the court.” However, the Supreme Court has three years in order to issue its ruling, and it doesn’t appear to be in a hurry to do that. “It appears that there are no new breakthroughs in Asia Bibi’s case despite the new witnesses bearing evidence that affirms her innocence. Among that evidence is a video that shows her primary accusers acknowledging that they never heard the Christian woman say the blasphemous words that she is accused of saying.”
"Barely Able to Move"
There is one issue that incites more concern than all the others, and that is the current health condition of Asia Bibi who received the death sentence in November 2010. Approximately five years ago she was placed in a filthy cell in the Multan Women’s Prison located in the Punjab region. She has been suffering for months from intestinal bleeding and she has been vomiting blood. Her family said that she “is very weak, to a level that she is barely able to move. Likewise, she finds it difficult to eat properly and is constantly suffering from chest pains.” However, the authorities refuse to lift a finger. “Despite the international media campaign and the petitions of her family and lawyers it appears that Asia Bibi hasn’t received a medical examination or been assured of any care in her prison in Lahore,” according to what a human rights group reported. They continued, “There is a desire to leave her to die so they can be free of this ‘problem.’ There is nothing else to do.”
Bishops Make an Appeal to France
Asia Bibi’s dangerous circumstances have compelled French bishops to express their “deep concern” and to renew their demands for her amnesty in the following statement which was issued on the June 18:
“The Bishop’s Council of France expresses its deep concern regarding the news of Asia Bibi’s deteriorating health condition. She has been held in a Pakistani prison since her death sentence was handed down for being accused of blasphemy. Furthermore, the Bishop’s Council of France feels concerned because the medical care to which all human beings have a right has not been granted to her. Monsignor Georges Pontier, President of the Bishop’s Council of France urged Monsignor Joseph Coutts, Archbishop of Karachi and President of the Catholic Bishop’s Conference of Pakistan to remember the absolute importance of the fact that ‘the death penalty is not justified, even for the alleged crime of blasphemy.’ Therefore, Asia Bibi’s deteriorating health condition, the absence of her receiving treatment during her incarceration and her receiving the death penalty is unacceptable and devoid of all reason. The Bishop’s Council is once again waiting for amnesty to be granted to Asia Bibi by President Mamnoon Hussain, or to have the appellate ruling by the Supreme Court revoked.”
Translated by Donald Puhlman