ASIA/PAKISTAN - The Sharia Court to the government: for the crime of blasphemy, death is the only and right punishment
Islamabad (Agenzia Fides) - The Federal Court for the Sharia, the Islamic court in Pakistan, has issued an order calling on the Government to amend the penalties for the crime of blasphemy, currently punishable with imprisonment, up to life imprisonment or death penalty.
According to the Court, the possibility of imposing imprisonment or life imprisonment and death penalty must be removed. The Court gave the government two months to adapt the national legal order.
The order, given by a panel of five judges, is based on a judgment of 1990: even then the Court had clarified that for the blasphemy law, death penalty was the only appropriate punishment, as the vilification of the Prophet or of Islam is "an intolerable offense". The Court has therefore called for the immediate implementation of the measure.
The ruling has created stir and turmoil especially in the Christian community in Pakistan and, according to Fides sources, embarrassment in public institutions and in the government of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who belongs to the Pakistan Muslim League.
In recent days, the Commission "Justice and Peace" of the Bishops of Pakistan had released alarming data on the net increase in complaints and in cases of blasphemy against Christians in Pakistan: four cases of blasphemy against Christians have been recorded within a month (see Fides 28/11/2013).
The incidence is four times higher than the monthly average recorded over the past two years. The charges are often patently false, since blasphemy is used as an "instrument of vengeance" in private controversy. Among Christians sentenced to death for blasphemy there is also Asia Bibi, who has been in prison for over 4 years. (PA) (Agenzia Fides 10/12/2013)
- 2014-04-16 - Appeal to the Italian government to ask for "the repeal of the blasphemy law in Pakistan"
- 2014-04-15 - Minorities are being targeted: the study and testimony of Pakistanis abroad
- 2014-04-14 - Asia Bibi trial "postponed to a later date": a mystery
- 2014-04-12 - Asia Bibi's case: the hearing is likely to be postponed
- 2014-04-09 - Every year, thousands of Hindu and Christian girls kidnapped and forced into Islamic marriage: new Report
- 2014-04-09 - Appeal for Christians sentenced to death for "blasphemy via sms" has been filed at the High Court
- 2014-04-08 - Only 28 % of women are in physical condition to breastfeed their infants
- 2014-04-07 - Legal battle after the death sentence of a Christian couple for blasphemous SMS
- 2014-04-04 - Death sentence for the Christian Sawan Masih: politics is deaf but dissent is increasing
- 2014-04-03 - Threats to the lawyer who defends Christians accused of blasphemy