“The first hearing of the appeal process for Asia Bibi, a Catholic woman sentenced to death in Pakistan on charges of blasphemy has been scheduled for May 27.” As reported to Fides by “the pool of defense attorneys, the case will be discussed in front of a panel of judges of the Lahore High Court, led by Judge Anwar-Ul- Haq.”
“While Asia has been languishing in Multan women's prison for over four and a half years - from February 2010 to today - the judiciary of Lahore, has postponed the hearings four times after coming under pressure from radical Islamic groups, because the judges themselves, fearing reprisals, tend to avoid the responsibility of deciding on such a delicate case.”
"Too often – says Gill – Christians are considered as 'second class citizens', justice is denied, especially when they are accused of blasphemy". Christians branded as "blasphemous", even if most of the time on the basis of false accusations, risk their lives and also the lives of those who dare to defend them is at risk. There are cases where Islamic leaders have issued a "fatwa" (religious decree) publicly inviting the faithful to kill the alleged "blasphemer", with extra-judicial executions, trampling the rule of law.
For example in January 2011 Mumtaz Qadri, the man who shot and killed the Governor of Punjab, Salmaan Taseer, guilty of having defended Asia Bibi, is now hailed as a "hero" and a mosque on the outskirts of Islamabad, was named after him.”
Source: UCA News