Asia Bibi blasphemy case

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Asia Bibi blasphemy case involves the conviction of a Pakistani Christian woman, Asia Noreen , for blasphemy by a Pakistani court. She was sentenced to death in 2010.[1] However, she was acquitted by the Supreme Court in 2018.

Case background and Court verdict[change | change source]

In June 2009, while harvesting berries from a field, Asia was seen drinking water from a communal cup by some village women of that area. It was considered offensive by the women due to her religion, and the cup was labelled "contaminated". This resulted in an argument between them, and the women accused her of blasphemy.[2]

In 2010, a judge in Sheikhupura sentenced Asia to death, which was upheld by the Lahore High Court. Petitions were sent for her release, including one sent by Pope Francis.[3]

Noreen's husband appealed to the high court. Salman Taseer, the Governor of Punjab, supported Noreen throughout and requested President Asif Ali Zardari to pardon her.[4] Due to this support, Taseer was killed by his guard Mumtaz Qadri.[5]

Several appeals were made during this period and the High Court upheld the decision. In October 2014, Lahore High Court rejected her appeal.[6] In November 2014, her lawyer appealed to the Supreme Court.[7]

On 31 October 2018, the Supreme Court panel chaired by Justice Saqib Nisar, acquitted Asia Bibi.[8] Although the majority supported the decision, it resulted in protests by the Islamic parties, mainly Tehreek-e-Labaik.[9]

References[change | change source]