LAHORE:Yesterday,October 16,2014,Christian mother of five Asia Bibi, had
had her blasphemy appeal hearing dismissed.A Special Bench of Lahore High
Court, decided to uphold her existing blasphemy sentence, meaning Asia will
remain on a death sentence and now she has right of second appeal to the
Supreme Court of Pakistan.
LEAD intends to file her second appeal within 30 days if the mutual
understanding will be developed among her all lawyers for to end the
disturbance which were created during appeal arguments by some her lawyers.
Advocate Sardar Mushtaq Gill,a Human Rights Defender was present along with
his team consisting on Aric John,advocate high court,Hadayt Bashir,advocate
high court and Qaiser Younas ,court clerk of LEAD.
The case was called and there were a number of Lawyers to represent
her.Abruptly Sardar Tahir Khalil Sindhu and Ch.Naeem Shakar started to
argue the case but they were hindered by the Justice Anwal-ul Haq and he
ordered and directed to addressing all the lawyers,who were present to
represent the Appellant,first decide who one lawyer argue the case.On this
it was decided that Ch.Naeem Shakar ,who is senior lawyer,would argue the
case.He well argued the case and seemed that his preparation was very much
The court gave a plenty of time to him to argue and to assist
the court to decide the appeal decision.The arguments went in two halves
meanwhile Sardar Tahir Khalil was also a little bit contributing.
In second half,the point was raised by the court,why ,the two eye witnesses
before whom the incidence occurred and derogatory remarks were uttered,were
not cross examined and challenged in the trial by you.On this
question,Ch.Naeem Shakar and Sardar Tahir Khalil Sindhu remained silent and
pointed by eyes towards S.K Choudhary,who filed appeal and contested the
S.K. Choudhary requested the court one hour for his arguments and the court
said that he could take enough time to argue as he wished to take but the
court said that the court would not give time for arguments any other
lawyer except him.He started to argue the case and he argued well and his
arguments were appreciable but the court again asked the same from him why
he could not cross-examined the two eye witnesses in trial.
He argued and explained,how the particular derogatory remarks could be
cross-examined by me as being Muslim,on this the court said here we are not
Muslims we are for justice only and being lawyers it is our responsibility
to represent the accused for justice and our faith should be at home.On
this main ground ,which is flaw and draw back of the trial proceedings and
defense side,the court dismissed the appeal because the statement of eye
witnesses not to be challenged and cross- examined means the alleged
allegation against the accused is true and admitted fact.
Why in mostly cases of blasphemy,the wordings of FIR would not be
cross-emamined and challenged by defense lawyer and in this particular case
was not cross-examined the eye witnesses during trial because there was
always much pressure from prosecution lawyers and if the defense lawyer try
to challenge and to cross-examin the wordings of FIR,the defense lawyer
will have to face death threats and some time to be killed as happened with
Rashid Rehman,who was killed during contesting the trial of English
professor accused of making blasphemous Facebook post after prosecution
lawyers had threatened to kill him in front of a judge,the same threats
were extended towards defense lawyer in this particular case of Asia Bibi
during her trial.It was also decided and announced by whole Nankana Sahb
Bar Association that no lawyer would represent her that was the reason many
Christian Organizations’lawyers fled away from the seen during her
trial,who are in appeal stage come forward.We have to appreciate
S.K.Choudary who contested her trial instead of restriction was imposed by
the concerned local Bar.
The same things happened at bail stage that’s why mostly defense lawyers
,who are on payroll of organizations, not be able to get released the
accused on bails in blasphemy cases because they would not prefer to take
life risk and they just fulfill legal formalities for their jobs in such
Why we were successful to get released on bails and rescued in our cases
because we are human rights defenders and we do not care about ourselves
and those life threats which were and are being extended towards us and we
are motivated by God and encouraged by our supporters who supported us for
our security measures.
So our request to national and international organizations,please consider
the safety and security of lawyers ,who represent blasphemy accused
,preferably so that the fear that if he would be killed who will care his
family be mitigated and taken out from their minds.This can be only
possible if you will provide practically security and training to the
lawyers for their encouragement.
It is also requested you on behalf of Asia Bibi to write petitions and
letters to send the Pakistani authorities to make her released because she
is suffering for faith and she is innocent and struggle with us for
religious liberty for individuals and raise voice with us for the repeal of
blasphemy law and to end religious extremism.