The Chief Justice of Pakistan announced that the Supreme Court will soon hear the appeal case of Christian woman Aasia Bibi, who was sentenced to death for “blasphemy” in 2010.
A further announcement confirming a date for the appeal hearing is awaited from Justice Mian Saqib Nisar, who has issued directives for full-security precautions for Aasia during the forthcoming hearing. A Pakistani pastor requested Christian’s pray “for protection for Aasia, her lawyer and her family.” Islamic extremists in Pakistan are likely to react violently if her death sentence is quashed.
Aasia has spent nearly nine years in prison after she was accused of insulting Muhammad during an argument with Muslim women field-labourers. The confrontation started when they refused to drink water she had fetched because she was a Christian. The most recent attempt to appeal her conviction collapsed when one of the three judges recused himself.
The European Union’s Special Envoy for the promotion of freedom of religion has reportedly told the Pakistani government that trade access to the EU will be directly linked to a “positive outcome” in Aasia’s “blasphemy” case.
Barnabas Fund are supporting Aasia Bibi’s family with a monthly food parcel and have helped to purchase a house and fund the installation of a gas supply to the family’s new home. Aasia’s husband and children had to go into hiding after she was accused.