Aasia Bibi: A life hanging in the balance

Originally posted on Human Rights Blog:

by Shahid Khan

Imagine a life in a solitary confinement, spending years in a dark dungeon, living with ceaseless agony, torture, uncertainty.

You are isolated from your family and friends. You receive threats not only from the outside world but also from those who are supposed to safeguard you. In Pakistan, for a blasphemy accused, fears are countless and the ones who police you can also be a threat to your life.

These are the traumas for Aasia Bibi, 45, an impoverished mother of five, who never knew what life was going to throw at her after having a heated argument in June 2009, which culminated in a death sentence due to Pakistan’s controversial blasphemy laws.

Last month the Pakistan courts announced another appeal date for 27 May 2014, after four previous appeal hearings were adjourned due to the mounting pressure from extremist and fundamentalist groups.

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Hindu communities in Pakistan are under constant attack

Originally posted on Most Intolerant Religion:

[PCP] Global Minorities Alliance, which fights for the rights of persecuted minority communities the world over, has documented that the discrimination facing communities does not just come in the form of violence on the streets, but also comes through institutional and systematic discrimination in the law courts and in the police stations. 

“Subsequent Governments have failed to protect and safeguard the rights of minorities,” says Shahid Khan, author of the report and Vice-Chairperson of Global Minorities Alliance (GMA). “Instead they have feasted upon the weaknesses and vulnerabilities of the smaller minority groups by introducing laws which further pushed them deep into a sea of despair, injustice and inequality.”

In the report Invisible Citizens of Pakistan: Minorities in Focus, released by GMA today (16 March), the human rights organisation details the various minority groups in Pakistan (such as Christians, Ahmadis and Hindus) and the situations they are facing: discriminatory laws, a…

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Regional Councillor Democratic Party asked the Italian government to intervene with the Pakistani Government and ask for the abolition of the blasphemy laws in Pakistan- By Adnan Farhaj.

Originally posted on Global Christian Voice:

Today April 15, 2014 a motion concerning the blasphemy laws in Pakistan was passed unanimously in Italian regional council of Marche. The motion was presented by Letizia Bellabarba and her colleagues. Letizia Bellabarba, Regional Councillor Democratic Party asked the Italian government to intervene with the Pakistani Government and ask for the abolition of the blasphemy laws in Pakistan. Following is the note from the councilor about the situation in Pakistan.

“Blasphemy law provides death penalty in Pakistan for those who fail to respect the Prophet Muhammad but it is often used for private purposes crushing in particular the religious minorities in Pakistan.

Freedom of speech and freedom of religion are a fundamental right of every individual: we can not remain indifferent. Because of this dark law the former governor of Punjab Salmon Taseer was assassinated on January 4, 2011 at the hands of Islamic extremists; for similar reasons the former…

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