ASIA/PAKISTAN - Christians: Asia Bibi’s acquittal is "a milestone in the history of the nation"

Thursday, 31 January 2019 human rights   blasphemy   politics   christianity   islam   civil society  

Islamabad (Agenzia Fides) - Christians in Pakistan appreciate the Supreme Court’s decision and recite prayers of thanksgiving for the acquittal and definitive freedom granted to Asia Bibi, the woman sentenced to death for blasphemy and acquitted on 31 October 2018. A verdict which was confirmed by the judges of the Supreme Court who rejected the request for the review of the verdict.
"Christian citizens, lovers of peace, thank God for the conclusion of this painful affair", says to Fides Fr. Bonnie Mendes, senior priest and human rights expert in Pakistan.
Fr. Qaisar Feroz OFM Cap, Executive Secretary of the Episcopal Commission for Social Communications, speaking to Fides says: "The decision of the Supreme Court on Asia Bibi’s acquittal is a milestone in the history of Pakistan to eradicate religious fundamentalism". And adds: "Not only do we have to rejoice for the freedom of an innocent woman, but the efforts of the lawyers and the courage of the Supreme Court are to be appreciated, too".
"We are happy because the judicial system has handled this matter in a very sensible manner, according to the rule of law", says to Fides Sabir Michael, a Christian human rights activist. "This decision - he continues - is a ray of hope for the minorities living in Pakistan, but there is still a lot of work to be done to promote and protect the rights of minorities". We hope this decision is an example for other cases which are still pending".
Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad Faisal confirmed that "after the decision of the Supreme Court of Pakistan, Asia Bibi is now a free citizen, can move and live a free life".
After her release from Multan prison on November 7, 2018, Asia Bibi was transferred to a secure place in Islamabad and may now leave the country. (AG) (Agenzia Fides, 31/1/2019)