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Mar-21-2014 18:33printcomments

The Other Side of Grief: Asia Bibi's Appeal Deferred Again

It is very obvious that judges are under pressure. Governor Salaman Taseer and Federal Minister Shahbaz Bhatti were assassinated, there is no other reason to it.

Asia Bibi
Asia Bibi

(ISLAMABAD) - After three years, Asia Bibi’s children would be hoping to see their mother at home as her case was fixed for hearing before a division bench. Asia Bibi’s appeal was taken up at the Lahore High Court - LHC, her supporters praying that the conviction for blasphemy was inconsistent with the evidence.

The court may reduce her sentence, if do not grant acquittal altogether. Judges are reluctant to use their powers to take up Asia’s case on a priority basis due to its controversial. Asia Bibi was charged of insulting Muhammad and then being sentenced to death. My heartaches and pains and I found myself crying almost the entire time, even though I never had a chance to know her. The Centre for Legal Aid, Assistance and Settlement CLAAS claimed to provide legal aid and assistance to members of Asia Bibi's family.

The truth is that LHC deferred the case. We should look into the publishing of the request prior to entering the courtroom, in addition to its public introduction.

I think we should be profoundly concerned about the security of Asia Bibi and her family instead of taking credit. I wrote and went to Lahore for the proceeding of the case because it came up again after three years.

As I was on the way and I came to know that it was deferred but I went to see her family. There I met her husband Aashiq Masih, who was disheartened. Earlier we planned to follow the case secretly but observing the law and order situation in the country, we didn’t take up an application. When we know is that Asia’s case is sensitive and in this situation we are not worthy to take credits.

Asia, 45, has been in jail since June, 2009. Yasin Badar, advocate with CLAAS, stated that judges must be under some pressure because there was no other reason why the hearing could be cancelled twice. He said the judge hearing her appeal went on a leave on the last hearing.

It is very obvious that judges are under pressure. Governor Salaman Taseer and Federal Minister Shahbaz Bhatti were assassinated, there is no other reason to it. Talking on the phone, Joseph Francis, chief of CLAAS, claimed that he is supporting Asia’s family. While Aashiq Masih (Asia’s husband) denies his statement and said CLAAS has never helped his family in this regard since she was arrested. CLAAS accumulate funds in her name but were not working for Asia, he added.

CLAAS has reportedly taken a Sawan case as well. There are several loopholes in the prosecution’s case, including her extrajudicial confession, inconsistencies in the testimony of prosecution witness and procedural lapses, said her attorney. In this situation if the case is taken up sensibly it will won acquittal.

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About Shamim Masih

"I am a Christian rights activist and freelancer Pakistani journalist specializing in writing about Christians rights for the different papers in the world. My aim is to create a peaceful environment in the society and to help eliminate Christian persecution through my writing as I bring the plight of these brave people under the spotlight of the whole world."

Shamim Masih was born in Sheikhopura's village and raised in Gujranwala, a city in Pakistan's Punjab province. He earned his Bachelors Degree from the University of the Punjab, Lahore majoring in English, Economics and Statistics; he also received a Masters Degree in Business Administration

As a freelance writer and author, Shamim has written for different papers in the world; his expertise is in writing articles highlighting different social issues. He has served as freelance chief reporter and column writer in “Minority Times” in Islamabad, and a number of Shamim's articles have been published in local papers as well.

You can write to Shamim at this address: shamimpakistan@gmail.com

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