Pakistan Court Threatened Ahead of Verdict Involving Christian Woman Sentenced to Death for Blasphemy

CNS News | 10/12/2018 | Staff
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(CNSNews.com) – Pakistan’s Supreme Court judges are facing threats from Muslim hardliners as they mull when to announce their verdict in one of the most notorious cases of abuse of the country’s controversial blasphemy laws.

Radicals were planning protests on Friday to back their demands that the court not throw out on appeal the conviction handed down in 2010 on Asia Bibi (Aasiya Noreen), the first Christian woman to be sentenced to death for blasphemy.

Case - Farm - Laborer - Mother - Accusers

The case of the farm laborer and mother of five, whom accusers claim insulted Mohammed, has drawn concern around the world.

The Supreme Court earlier this week said it had reached a decision in her appeal, but declined to announce it immediately.

Pakistan - TLP - Islamic - Party - Hardline

Tehreek-e-Labaik Pakistan (TLP), an Islamic party established in 2015 by a hardline cleric Khadim Hussain Rizvi, held a press conference on Wednesday warning the judges of any concessions in the case, and threatening “terrible consequences” should attempts to made to hand Bibi over to a foreign country.

The TLP, whose main campaign plank revolved around punishment for blasphemers, fared unexpectedly well in its first national elections in July, becoming the fifth-largest party and winning its first seats in one of the provincial legislatures.

Supporters - Members - Barelvi - Movement - Sunni

Most of its supporters are members of the Barelvi movement of Sunni Islam, known for its zeal for Mohammed, the Qur’an and shari’a.

“The court did not provide any date when the verdict will be announced,” said the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), which has long advocated for Bibi’s freedom.

Atmosphere - Country - Blasphemy - Cases - Court

“Given the religiously-charged atmosphere of the country regarding blasphemy cases, it is understandable that the court would avoid announcing its decision yesterday, especially if it is in Asia Bibi’s favor.”

The ACLJ said if the Supreme Court does uphold the conviction, Bibi’s only recourse would be to petition Pakistan’s president for clemency.

Pakistan - Code - Death

Pakistan’s penal code carries the death...
(Excerpt) Read more at: CNS News
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