Despite the global prayers and petitions for Asia Bibi her appeal in Lahore High Court has once again been deferred. Pakistani law states that two judges must be present to preside of a Blasphemy case and only one judge appeared at court. To many, it seems Justice has failed and already much speculation exists on whether the judges and legal fraternity are being threatened.
Asia Bibi’s appeal was to be taken up at the Lahore High Court on Monday 17th March 2014, more than three years after it was originally filed. The case was fixed for hearing before a division bench and Pakistani Christians pinned their hopes on a just decision.
A previous hearing was fixed for a hearing on February 14th 2014 (ironically Valentines Day), but was also deferred.
The BPCA is extremely concerned about the nature of this deferment that has delayed justice for innocent Asia, who has been incarcerated since June 19th 2009. Worse still, the riots outside the courts during both the appeal trial's, are in stark contrast to the petitions for leniency and adorning with flowers at the Valentines day trial, for the assassin of Governer Taseer. The failure of a judge to appear at such an important court hearing illustrates the weakness of Pakistan's legal system.
Wilson Chowdhry of the BPCA said;
"This deferment is an insult to justice, it illustrates that Pakistan's legal system is flawed Legal authorities must feel confident and secure enough to make just decisions, moreover, judges are duty bound to appear at court hearings. Considering the nature of animosity towards Asia, Pakistani society requires great moral introspection."
"We call for global prayer for the release of Asia Bibi. If the courts are not willing to free her, then it is the duty of the President of Pakistan to enact his presidential powers and to pardon helpless Asia."
(Read story from Express Tribune by clicking here)