Asia Bibi, the Pakistani Christian sentenced to death for allegedly speaking against the prophet Muhammad, has been given a fourth date to appear in court appealing her charges. The three previous court dates were postponed for a variety of reasons including the failure of Bibi’s accuser to attend the hearing.
The fourth appeal date is set for May 27, 2014 in front of the Lahore High Court Division Bench Christian Today reports.
Bibi, a mother of five, has been in jail since 2009. She was sentenced with the death penalty in November 2010, making Bibi the first woman in to receive such a sentence under Pakistan’s blasphemy laws.
In anticipation of the trial, the British Pakistani Christian Association (BPCA) has released an online petition, urging people around the world to sign and demand Bibi’s freedom. The petition can be found at http://www.petitionbuzz.com/petitions/justice4asia. Wilson Chowdhry, BPCA vice chairman said that he hopes to reach 100,000 signatures.
“We have asked that if the Judiciary is unable to make the right decision, that the President of the country should now enact his powers of Presidential Pardon, as Asia has suffered the ignominy of imprisonment for five years despite worldwide affirmation of her innocence,” Chowdhry said.
Publication date: May 5, 2014