December 16, 2011
Canada's parliament is demanding the release of Asia Bibi, a Christian woman condemned under Pakistan's blasphemy law, Mission Network News reports. Bibi, a mother of five, faces the death penalty after being found guilty of blaspheming the Islamic prophet Mohammed. Canadian lawmakers are also calling on Pakistan's government to repeal laws criminalizing blasphemy, which restrict religious expression and disproportionately target religious minorities, said parliament member Phil McColeman. Many Pakistani Christians have been falsely accused under the Blasphemy Law (Law 295a), which makes blaspheming Mohammed a crime punishable by death, and courtrooms full of militants often pressure judges into returning a guilty verdict.