Asia Bibi Fate Hangs in Balance: Pakistan

Written by CJP | Published on: October 11, 2018

A special three-member Supreme Court bench on Monday reserved its judgement on the final appeal against the execution of Asia Bibi sentenced under blasphemy law, on Monday October 8, 2018.

Asia Bibi

A special bench comprising of Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar, Justice Asif Saeed Khosa and Justice Mazhar Alam Khan Miankhel were hearing Bibi's 2014 appeal against the capital punishment handed to her. As reported, the bench has cautioned the media against commenting or discussing the sub-judice matter until a detailed judgement has been passed. The Court is yet to announce the date of the judgement.

The Case
Asia Bibi, a Christian woman, was convicted under Section 295-C of Pakistan Penal Code for blasphemy for allegedly defaming the Prophet. The offense carries mandatory capital punishment under Pakistani law.

As reported, Asia was convicted for making defamatory and sarcastic statements about the Prophet on June 14, 2019 during a heated argument with two Muslim women when they refused to drink water from the same bowl as Asia. She admitted to making these statements at a public gathering on June 19, 2009 while pleading for forgiveness.

A trial court had convicted Bibi for blasphemy in Nov 2010 and thereby sentenced to death. Upholding her conviction, the Lahore High Court in Oct 2014 confirmed her death sentence. Asia has been under continuous solitary confinement for 9 years now and awaits her final verdict.

In her defence, Lawyer, Saiful Mulook argued in Court against the discrepancies in the filing of the report. He questioned in Court why a June 14 incident was filed on June 19 by the prayer leader of Kantawala village who was not present at the time of the argument. He also stated the contradictory arguments by the two Muslim women. The Chief Justice also highlighted that the witnesses didn’t testify against Bibi using defamatory language but mostly narrated the incident on the field.