January 25, 2012
The case of Asia Bibi, a Pakistani Christian mother of five who was sentenced to death for alleged blasphemy, appears to have taken an extraordinary turn. According to a story monitored by the ASSIST News Service, Bibi's accuser, Qari Salam, is reported to have "ostensibly" regretted filing false charges against her, which resulted in a jail sentence and possible hanging. ASSIST writes that the story, originally posted on Topix.com, states: "The source of his guilt -- realization that the case was not based on facts but on hyped religious emotions and personal bias of some village women, including his wife. ... Qari, according to some of his close friends, was now thinking of not pursuing the case anymore and expressed his desire to some of his friends, only to find himself in a difficult situation when activists of an Islamic religious organization 'convinced' him not to change his mind ... upon hearing that [he] might not go to Lahore High Court when the review petition against Asia's conviction is taken up."