ISLAMABAD – Asia Bibi’s acquittal by the Supreme Court of Pakistan was on October 2018, on charges of blasphemy after being held on death row for eight years.
The judges ruled that the prosecution had “categorically failed” to prove its case beyond reasonable doubt, that the evidence against her was flimsy, the complainant was not present when the alleged activity took place, and the testimony of the witnesses against her was contradictory.
Following the acquittal, she was spirited away to an undisclosed location where she could be protected from Muslim mobs who sought to kill her.
The TLP political party – one that strongly advocates the death sentence for blasphemy against the Muslim prophet Muhammed – responded forcefully. The leader of the TLP warned, “There will be war if they send Asia out of the country.”
Another TLP official ordered the execution of the three judges who handed down the acquittal. He said, “Whoever has got any access to them, kill them before the evening.” Angry mobs calling for Bibi’s execution filled streets in the capital for three days.
The Pakistani government negotiated with the TLP to cease their protests. That compromise agreement has led to further complications. To get the TLP to cease the riots in the streets, the government agreed to open a review of the Supreme Court’s decision.
The petition for appeal argued that the court did not meet the standards of jurisprudence or Islamic provisions for justice regarding blasphemy laws.
That review will be conducted on Tuesday, January 29.
At that time, “the court will determine if [the] appeal against her acquittal is admitted.” Typically, decisions on the admission of appeals is determined on the same day as the hearing.
Three Supreme Court judges, including Pakistan’s Chief Justice, will review the appeal petition. The review will effectively close the case or it will throw it back into another trial.
Either decision is likely to initiate a public outcry – especially if the appeal is denied.
The British Pakistani Christian Association noted that “Despite her acquittal, Asia Bibi is determined to be a blasphemer by at least 90% of the nation of Pakistan and, therefore, a target for assassination.”
Missions Box News urges Christians around the world to pray for Asia Bibi, her release from protective custody, and her safe transportation out of Pakistan.
To read more news on Asia Bibi on Missions Box, go here
- Dawn, SC to hear review petition against Asia Bibi’s acquittal on Jan 29
- The Christian Post, Pakistan’s top court to decide Asia Bibi’s fate as Muslim extremists demand her death
- Breitbart, Pakistan Sets Date for Asia Bibi’s Blasphemy Case Appeal
- Lastampa.it, [CC BY-NC-ND 4.0]