These contrary information are a shame to that country really...
Asia Bibi Case, No quick pardon
By Dan Wooding, Founder of ASSIST Ministries, November 25, 2010
ISLAMABAD, PAKISTAN (ANS) -- Pakistan's president Asif Ali Zardari will not immediately pardon a Christian woman sentenced to die for insulting Islam but may do so later if an appeals court delays her case too long, an official said Thursday, November 25, 2010.
Bibi, 45, is the first woman condemned to die under the blasphemy law. She has been jailed for 18 months and was sentenced November 8, 2010 to hang.
Pope Benedict XVI has appealed for the release of Asia Bibi, a 45-year-old mother of five who has said she was wrongly accused by a group of Muslim women with a grudge against her.
According to a story posted at www.epakistannews.com, "The case has prompted outrage from international rights groups and inflamed religious passions at home. In recent days, demonstrations have been staged both by Pakistan's Christian minority calling for her release and also by Muslims warning against any pardon for her and defending the country's blasphemy law, which critics say is misused to settle personal scores and by extremists to persecute minorities."
Bhatti was quoted as saying, "However, Zardari agreed to pardon Bibi later if the appeal case is unduly delayed." Zardari's spokesman could not be reached Thursday, stated the website.
Minister for Minorities, Shahbaz Bhatti, along with
Asia Bibi's daughters, Ashi and Sidra, at his office
in Islamabad on Saturday
Her lawyer has filed an appeal with the Lahore High Court, and President Asif Ali Zardari has decided to let the appeal process play out instead of immediately pardoning her, said Minister for Minority Affairs Shahbaz Bhatti, who met with Zardari on Thursday, November 25, 2010.
"Pardoning Bibi would carry political risk for Zardari, whose coalition government relies on an Islamic political party in Parliament," the website story said.
Bhatti, who has said he believes Bibi is innocent, said Zardari did not specify any deadline but said he believes the president "will not wait months or weeks."
Christian woman facing death for blasphemy is freed
Asia Bibi pardoned by Pakistani president and now in hiding
By Dan Wooding, Founder of ASSIST Ministries, November 22, 2010
ITTANWALAI, PAKISTAN (ANS) -- The ASSIST News Service (ANS) -- www.assistnews.net -- has just received the good news that Asia Bibe, a Christian mother of four who was sentenced to death on November 8, 2010, for alleged blasphemy, has now been freed.
Asia, who had already spent the last year and a half in prison, was set free today (Monday, November 22, 2010), after being pardoned by Pakistani President, Asif Ali Zardari.
According to a source in Pakistan, "She has gone now into hiding over fears for her safety."
The Centre for Legal Aid, Assistance and Settlement (CLAAS) told ANS that it “welcomes the release of Asia Bibi, the first Christian woman to be sentenced to death for blasphemy in Pakistan."
Bibe was found guilty of blasphemy despite there being no evidence that she committed the crime and her repeated denial of the charges laid against her.
She was accused of insulting the Prophet Muhammad by Muslim field workers following a dispute over their different faiths. When she was asked to bring a cup of water, the women refused to drink from it, saying that it had been touched by a Christian and was therefore “unclean.”
She was arrested in June 2009 in her home village of Ittanwalai, west of the Punjab provincial capital of Lahore, and prosecuted under Section 295 B and C of the Pakistan Penal Code, which carries a mandatory death penalty.
The case has made international headlines and thrown the spotlight on Pakistan’s unjust blasphemy laws.
CLAAS, which provides free legal assistance to Pakistani Christians, says that is delighted by the decision to release Asia and hopes that it brings the country one step closer to repealing the blasphemy laws.
Nasir Saeed, Coordinator of CLAAS in the UK, told ANS: “This is the only acceptable outcome to what has been a travesty of justice from the outset. Asia Bibi should never have been charged with blasphemy, let alone found guilty and sentenced to death.
“The ordeal faced by her and her family is unimaginable to most people outside of Pakistan who are largely unaware of the abuse and discrimination faced by the tiny Christian minority there.
“The blasphemy laws smack in the face of democracy and human rights and only reinforce the notion that Christians and other religious minorities in the country are somehow inferior and less human.
“We are relieved and overjoyed at Asia Bibi’s release but so long as the blasphemy laws remain in place there is no telling when another innocent Christian will face being executed because of something they said.”
Pakistani Christian Woman Sentenced to Death for Blasphemy Charges
By Success Kanayo Uchime, Special to ASSIST News Service, November 8, 2010
PUNJAB, PAKISTAN (ANS) -- A Pakistani court has sentenced Asia Bibi, a Christian mother of four, to death for "blasphemy" charges thereby becoming the first woman to receive such a capital punishment.
death row. If she appeals to the High Court, it may take years before her case is heard.
This news is contained in a report by Release International, (www.releaseinternational.org), a United Kingdom based Christian organization serving the persecuted Christians, which adding that a sessions court judge yesterday (Sunday, November 7, 2010) gave Asia the maximum sentence at the end of a trial that lasted for more than 16 months.
The report said that Asia, a farm laborer in her late-30s from Ittanwali, Punjab, was also fined more than £700 ($1,129.76 USD) - the equivalent of two-and-a-half years' salary for the average worker.
"Release partners at Sharing Life Ministry Pakistan (SLMP), who have been supporting Asia and her family throughout their ordeal, say that they and the family are shocked by this outcome," it stated.
The group noted that no one sentenced to death for blasphemy in Pakistan has ever been executed, but Asia could now spend years in appalling conditions on
Asia Bibi (Photo: www.persecution.com)
After a previous court appearance, Asia is hugged by some of her children. One was Isha, who cried
and hugged her mother and would not let her go.
Isha pointed to the veil on her mother's face and
said, "I want to see your face, remove this cover."
It was a sad scene. (Photo: http://persecutedchurch.blogspot.com)
According to the report, police first filed a case against her in June 2009 after local Muslims accused her of making derogatory comments against Islam's prophet, Mohammed.
"She had reportedly been discussing matters of faith with fellow laborers in the fields when Asia and her daughters were attacked by local villagers and Muslim clerics. She had reportedly been under pressure from her fellow workers to convert to Islam," the report added.
It continued: "A spokesman for SLMP described Asia as having a strong faith - but said that this decision would be a crushing blow to her and her family. She was longing to go back home to her children, but her dreams of release have vanished now. She desperately needs peace in her heart, the peace that comes from God. The SLMP team plan to visit Asia in prison as soon as possible."
Release International said they're concerned that Asia's conviction could set a dangerous precedent. Martha Bibi is currently on trial for blasphemy in Lahore and she was charged in 2007, after a dispute with builders who allegedly refused to return equipment belonging to her.
They say, "Act now by signing our petition calling for justice for Christians in Pakistan at www.releaseinternational.org/current or call our office Tel: +44 (0) 1689 823491
Release International, through its international network of missions, serves persecuted Christians in 30 countries around the world by supporting pastors and Christian prisoners, and their families; supplying Christian literature and Bibles and also working for justice.
From CBN, November 20, 2010