Pakistan

ISLAMABAD (Staff Report) – Supreme Court will hear Aasia Bibi’s final appeal against her death sentence in a blasphemy case in October.

Asia Bibi, a 50-year-old mother of five, has been languishing in jail since June 19, 2009 after being convicted of blasphemy during an argument with a Muslim woman over a bowl of water in a village near Nankana Sahib.

An additional district and sessions judge sentenced her to death in November 2010. An LHC division bench dismissed her appeal on Oct 16 2014 and upheld the sentence.

Taseer1

The then Punjab governor Salman Taseer visited Aasia Bibi in jail, criticised her conviction and the blasphemy law. A couple of months later he was gunned down by his bodyguard Mumtaz Qadri. An anti-terrorism court tried the killer and sentenced him to death.

Aasia filed an appeal in the Supreme Court in November 2014, claiming she had not uttered any blasphemous remarks and was falsely accused by her neighbours over a personal feud.

On July 22, 2015, a three-member bench of the apex court headed by Justice Mian Saqib Nisar suspended till further orders the carrying out of death penalty awarded to Aasia Bibi in a blasphemy case. The court also condoned an 11-day delay in filing appeal against an order of a Lahore High Court division bench that had upheld the Christian woman’s sentence.

Aasia’s counsel Saiful Malook said that his client’s appeal against the death sentence has been fixed for hearing in the second week of October.