ASIA/PAKISTAN - Urgency to set up a "special investigation team" for cases of blasphemy

Friday, 19 June 2015

Karachi (Agenzia Fides) – There is need to form a "Joint Investigation Team JIT"; to release Asia Bibi and all other defendants in prison on charges of blasphemy: is what the "Pakistan Christian Congress" (PCC) asks for, indicating the need for the investigation team to be made up of civilian and military members, judges and officials, that assess the truthfulness of the allegations.
As reported in a note sent to Fides, Nazir Bhatti, Secretary of the CPC said: "Groups of Islamic extremists in Pakistan are using blasphemy laws as a weapon against religious minorities in Pakistan. They have damaged the image of Pakistan at an international level, as a country that violates religious freedom and human rights because the government has failed to stop the abuse of the blasphemy law".
Asia Bibi, a Christian mother of five children, was arrested on 19 June 2009 and sentenced to death on charges of blasphemy in November 2010. After the confirmation of the verdict by the Lahore High Court in 2014, she is currently awaiting the third degree trial, before the Supreme Court.
Recently the website published a report on the case of Asia Bibi, making available on-line all the documentation related to the trial undergone by the woman at first instance and on appeal. The trial papers confirm that the process was marred by irregularities and it is apparent that the evidence of conviction of the defendant are dubious and contradictory. (PA) (Agenzia Fides 19/06/2015)