Pakistani cabinet minister finds Christian woman 'wrongly sentenced'
November 23, 2010
Pakistan’s Minister for Minority Affairs has concluded that a young Christian woman was wrongfully convicted on a blasphemy charge.
Asia Bibi had faced execution after being condemned for blaspheming Islam. But after investigating the case, cabinet minister Shahbaz Bhatti reported: “I am convinced that she is innocent and she was wrongly sentenced to death.” Bhatti will present his report to Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari, recommending that he issue a pardon.
A presidential pardon would not entirely resolve the controversy, however. Militant Muslims have vowed public protests if Bibi is set free, while Christians insist that her trial was unfair, and that Pakistan’s blasphemy laws encourage abuses. Archbishop John Saldanha of Lahore notes that the Bibi case shows “how dangerous these laws are.”
- Pakistani Minister says Asia Bibi wrongly accused (Vatican Radio)
- Asia Bibi is innocent, minorities minister says in report to President Zardari (AsiaNews)