Pakistan

Pakistani Christian Asia Bibi on death-row for blasphemy charges acquitted by court after 8 years

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Pakistan’s Supreme Court has acquitted a Christian woman who has been on death row for almost eight years on blasphemy charges, Pakistani press reported.

Local sources told told Free Press Kashmir that protests were organised at many places against the acquittal of Asia Bibi, a mother of five from Punjab province, was convicted of blasphemy in 2010 and sentenced to hang.

She was accused of defiling the name of the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ), during an argument the year before with Muslim colleagues.

The appeal, accepted by SC in 2015, challenged the Lahore High Court’s October 2014 verdict upholding a trial court’s November 2010 decision sentencing Bibi to death for committing blasphemy in 2009, Pakistan based Dawn News reported.

The allegations against Bibi date back to 2009, when Muslim field labourers who were working alongside refused to share water with her because she was Christian.

An argument broke out and a Muslim woman later went to a local cleric and accused Bibi of committing blasphemy against the Prophet Mohammad (ﷺ) – a charge punishable by death under legislation that rights groups say is routinely abused to target religious minorities and settle personal scores.

Prosecutors alleged that in the row which followed, the women said Asia Bibi should convert to Islam and that she made three offensive comments about the Prophet Muhammad in response.

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