Pakistani Christian mother Asia Bibi’s appeal of the death sentence has again been delayed, according to The Christian Post.
Bibi was given the death sentence and has been in prison for eight years, awaiting the slow judicial process of appealing her case.
She was accused of blasphemy against Islam by some Muslim women. Bibi reportedly drank from the same water bowl as they did while the women were all working together.
Bibi’s initial appeal of her sentence was delayed at least seven times before her appeal was finally heard in October 2014. Her sentence, however, was upheld. If the sentence is carried out, she will be the first woman in Pakistan to be given the death penalty after being accused of blasphemy.
Bibi, her family, and her lawyers are discouraged about another delay in her appeal, but remain committed to fighting her case.
"This is very unfortunate. Her husband became quiet when he heard the latest developments. We shall again apply for the hearing and keep struggling for justice," said Joseph Nadeem, executive director of the Renaissance Education Foundation. "There are many factors at work behind the slow pace of judiciary. Her case has been in the doldrums due to huge pressure. There will be a strong reaction if Bibi is freed, opposing groups have made it a matter of honor and ego."
Pakistan instituted blasphemy laws in the 1980s, and since that time, it has been common for some Muslims to use the laws as a way to target Christians. Pakistan currently ranks fourth on World Watch Monitor’s 2017 World Watch List of countries where Christian persecution is most severe.
Publication date: May 3, 2017