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Asia Bibi says other innocent Pakistanis are in jail for blasphemy

ASIA BIBI

Fair Use

Zelda Caldwell - published on 09/06/19

The Pakistani Catholic, who was freed after 8 years on death row, gives first interview since her release from jail 

In her first newspaper interview since she was acquitted of charges of blasphemy, Pakistani Catholic Asia Bibi drew attention to the plight of her countrymen who, she said, continue to be imprisoned unjustly.

The mother of four spent eight years on death row after being convicted of insulting the Prophet Mohammad during an argument with her neighbors, and has been living in Canada where she was granted asylum. Blasphemy has been punishable by death in Pakistan since 1986.

Calling for Pakistan’s blasphemy laws to be abolished, Bibi told the Sunday Telegraph, “I pray to God that everyone falsely implicated in blasphemy cases should be released, that they get freedom and God helps them.”

“There should be proper investigation mechanisms while applying this law. We should not consider anyone sinful for this act [blasphemy] without any proof.”

“There are many other cases where the accused are lying in jail for years and their decision should also be done on merit. The world should listen to them,” she told the Telegraph.

Pakistan’s Supreme Court acquittal of Bibi in October 2018 was met with violent protests from radical Muslims. More than 3,000 members of the radical Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) group were arrested on charges of terrorism following the riots.

Read about Asia Bibi’s interview with the Telegraph here.

Tags:
PakistanReligious Freedom
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