Pakistan SC to take up ‘blasphemy convict’ Aasia Bibi’s appeal

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Pakistan’s Supreme Court is set to take up an appeal filed by Aasia Bibi, who was sentenced to death after being found guilty of insulting Prophet Mohammed six years ago, on Wednesday.

Bibi’s family and lawyer have high hopes that she would be acquitted.

The Express Tribune quoted Saiful Mulook, her counsel, as saying that there were several legal points on the basis of which Bibi could be acquitted. He pointed out that the FIR against her was lodged five days after the alleged incident, which cast a `serious doubt` over the narrative of the prosecution.

He added that he will challenge the credibility of the witnesses, who testified against her, as they did not fulfill the criteria of Tazkiatul Shuhood. Ashiq Masih, Bibi`s husband, said that he and their five children had suffered a lot during the past six years, adding he was confident that the Supreme Court would free his wife.

A high court in Lahore had upheld her death sentence last year.

She has been on death row since November 2010 after being convicted of making derogatory comments about Prophet Muhammad during an argument with a Muslim woman over a bowl of water.

Two high-profile politicians, the then Punjab governor Salmaan Taseer and federal minister Shahbaz Bhatti, were killed in 2011 after they called for reforms in blasphemy laws and described Bibi`s trial as `flawed`.