Pakistani judge who forced postponement of Asia Bibi’s appeal resigns from court
October 26, 2016
The Pakistani Supreme Court justice who recused himself from hearing the appeal of Asia Bibi, thus forcing a postponement of the case, has submitted his resignation.
Judge Iqbal Hameed ur Rehman shocked observers on October 13 when he unexpectedly recused himself from a three-judge panel that had been assigned to hear the controversial case of the Christian woman who faces a death penalty for blasphemy. His withdrawal forced the court to postpone the hearing.
Judge Rehman said that he could not participate in the Bibi case because he had previously been involved in the case of Salman Taseer, the Punjab governor who was murdered after he expressed public support for Bibi. Supporters of the accused woman questioned why Judge Rehman waited until the day of the hearing to withdraw from the case. One explanation could be pressure from Islamic militants, who have demanded Bibi’s execution and denounced her appeals.
Asia Bibi was arrested in 2009 and convicted despite the absence of evidence to support the charge against her. She has been jailed since that time. A new Supreme Court hearing probably will not be scheduled until a judge is appointed to replace Rehman.
- The Supreme Court judge, who refused to hear Asia Bibi’s death penalty appeal, resigns (Fides)
- Pakistani court again postpones hearing from Asia Bibi (CWN, 10/13)
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