Asia Bibi, the Christian mother of five in Pakistan who for seven years has been facing death by hanging for allegedly insulting Islam, could face her final Supreme Court hearing in June, her lawyer has said.
Saiful Malook, Bibi’s lawyer, told Asia News in an interview on Thursday that “the request to reopen the hearing was submitted to the president of the Supreme Court of Pakistan last week.”
He added: “The case continues to be postponed due to the problems of this country. We are in the midst of a continuing war between Islam and Kufr (infidels). But our hopes for her release are many.”
As International Christian Concern noted, Bibi’s case is one of “the most controversial blasphemy cases” in the world, with persecution watchdog groups calling it “the best example” of how blasphemy laws can be abused.
Bibi was accused by a group of female Muslim co-workers of insulting the Islamic prophet Muhammad back in 2009, and in 2010 was handed a death sentence despite pleading her innocence.
Since then she has been on death row and the subject of numerous campaigns from watchdog groups calling for her freedom. Her final appeal hearing was initially scheduled for Oct. 16, 2016, but the hearing was postponed after one of the judges pulled out of the case.
Groups such as ICC, and others, like Open Doors USA, have noted that Pakistan’s blasphemy laws are often used to target Christians, who are a distinct minority in the country, and are used as a means to settle personal feuds.
“She’s lived under daily threat from extremists, fellow prisoners and even prison guards. She’s watched her five girls grow up from behind prison bars. She wakes up not knowing if she’ll die in prison or if she’ll be reunited with her family,” David Curry, president and CEO for Open Doors USA, wrote in an op-ed for The Christian Post in February, referring to Bibi’s ordeal.
“Over the span of seven years, it can become easy for us to forget to pray for our persecuted brothers and sisters like Asia, but it’s important for us to use reminders like this to ensure we pray without ceasing,” Curry added.
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SOURCE: The Christian Post