The Targeting of ‘Minority Others’ in Pakistan

The Targeting of ‘Minority Others’ in Pakistan
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Friday, 19 November 2010

Amnesty International join the fray - Save Asia Bibi!


After a request from the BPCA to Maya Pastakia the Afghanistan and Pakistan officer for Amnesty International, the group have created a positioning statement for the Asia Bibi Case.  Here is the result below:


URGENT ACTION
PAKISTANI CHRISTIAN WOMAN SENTENCED TO DEATH
Aasia Bibi, a Pakistani Christian woman, has been sentenced to death under the country’s blasphemy laws.
On 8 November, the 45-year-old mother of five children was found guilty of blasphemy and sentenced to death under Section 295B and 295C of Pakistan’s Penal Code, for insulting the Prophet Muhammad, by a court in Nankana, around 75km (45 miles) west of the city of Lahore in Punjab province.

Aasia Bibi, a resident of Ittanwali, was arrested in June 2009. She was working as a farm labourer and was asked by a village elder’s wife to fetch drinking water. Some other female Muslim farmhands reportedly refused to drink the water, saying it was sacrilegious and “unclean” to accept water from Aasia Bibi, as a non-Muslim. Aasia Bibi took offence, reportedly saying: “are we not human?” which led to an argument between them. The women allegedly complained to Qari Salim, the local cleric, that Aasia Bibi had made derogatory remarks about the Prophet Muhammad. The cleric informed local police who arrested and charged her with insulting the Prophet Muhammad.
Aasia Bibi denies the allegations and her husband, Ashiq Masih, claims her conviction was based on “false accusations”. However, the trial judge, Naveed Iqbal, “totally ruled out” the possibility of false charges and said that there were “no mitigating circumstances”. Aasia Bibi has now filed an appeal against the judgment in the Lahore High Court. She has been detained in prison and held in isolation since June 2009. She has claimed that she has not had access to a lawyer during her detention and the final day of her trial.
PLEASE WRITE IMMEDIATELY in English, Urdu or your own language:
n      calling on President Zardari to use his powers under the Constitution to commute the death sentence;
n      calling for the immediate release of Aasia Bibi, unless she is charged with internationally regognizable offences and tried in proceedings and under laws that meet international human rights standards;
n      calling on the authorities to take immediate measures to guarantee the safety of Aasia Bibi and her family;
n      expressing concern that the blasphemy laws are used indiscriminately against religious minorities and Muslims alike, and urging the government to amend or abolish laws, particularly section 295C of the Pakistan Penal Code which carries the death penalty for anyone found guilty of blasphemy; and
n      calling on the Supreme Court of Pakistan to take Suo Moto notice of the case;
n      urging the government to fulfil its pledge to review and  improve “laws detrimental to religious harmony”, announced by Prime Minister Giliani in August 2009;
n      calling for an immediate moratorium on all executions in the country, in line with the worldwide trends to abolish the death penalty with a view to an eventual abolition of the death penalty.

PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 29 DECEMBER 2010 TO:                             


President Zardari
Pakistan Secretariat, Islamabad, Pakistan
Fax: +92-51-9207458
E-mail:
publicmail@president.gov.pk
Salutation: Dear President Zardari


Dr. Zaheeruddin Babar Awan
Federal Minister
Ministry of Law, Justice & Parliamentary Affairs
Room 305, S-Block,
Pakistan Secretariat, Islamabad, Pakistan
Fax: +92 51 9202628
E-Mail: minister@molaw.gov.pk      
Salutation: Dear Minister

And copies to:
Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry
Chief Justice of Pakistan
Supreme Court of Pakistan
Islamabad,          
Pakistan
Fax: +92-51-9213452
Salutation: Dear Chief Justice Chaudhry


Please check with your section office if sending appeals after the above date.

3 comments:

  1. I tried sending an email to the President before you posted this and the email was rejected saying there was a permanent error. The same happened just now when I tried again. Also the Official Pakistan Government website associated with that email address was not coming up at all then or now.

    ReplyDelete
  2. All of us must join this campaign. Even if we don't have religion.

    Amílcar A.
    Portugal

    ReplyDelete
  3. You can write the president of Pakistan here:

    http://www.presidentofpakistan.gov.pk/index.php?lang=en&opc=2&sel=6

    There is also a petition that can be signed at
    http://www.callformercy.org

    ReplyDelete