SLMP taking up Asiya case to Supreme Court
By – Shamim Masih
ISLAMABAD: The time has come that minority parliamentarians need to take stand; it is time to reopen the debate on blasphemy law in Pakistan, said Sohail Johnson, chairman Sharing Life Ministry Pakistan – SLMP. After the decision of a special division bench of LHC, upholding the death sentence of Asiyab Bibi, my heart leapt out to see her kids and after sitting with the Aashiq Masih and her kids, I decided to take this case and now SLMP is going to file an appeal in the Supreme Court of Pakistan, announced Sohail Johnson.
According to the details, a farm worker, mother of 5, is kept away from her children for five years and four month. Yes, Asiya Bibi, she dared to drink water in the cup of her co-workers in the field. Asiya become the victim of the prejudice and greed and was accused of committing blasphemy.
She has been in jail since June 19, 2009. She was awarded death sentence by the additional District and Sessions Judge Justice Muhammad Naveed Iqbal, despite lack of evidence on November, 2010. On 16th October, 2014, a special division bench of the Lahore High Court dismissed the appeal condemned Christian woman Asiya Bibi and upholds her death sentence on the blasphemy charges.
Ashiq Masih, husband of the poor lady, was bitterly weeping when I met him. He said, it was ray of hope but the rejection of the appeal has shattered his confidence on Pakistani courts.
He confidently said that judges were under pressure. He is still not in the position to control his nerves and how his children will survive, who were hoping their mother to come back at home. But still he is hopeful and will go for the next judicial avenue Supreme Court of Pakistan to appeal.
According to her husband, the counsel, was weak and couldn’t convince the judge. He said he will choose the best lawyer of the town in the apex court.
He blamed that Asma and Mafia are the real sisters and they falsely implicated Asiya Bibi in the blasphemy case because they felt disgraced and dishonored on the basis of altercation and hard words extended to them by her when they denied drinking water brought by her for them.
Ashiq Masih was also critical of the role of some Christian non- government organizationsin this regard. He said some of them have worked to worsen the situation. A number of lawyers and non-government organizations are in the race to take credit but not doing anything practical.
A human rights champion reportedly has supported just Rs. 3000/- ever since but have been gathering millions of the funds on her name, he added.