Aasia Bibi Won’t be Executed, Pakistan SC Rules in Blasphemy Case

Aasia Bibi Won’t be Executed, Pakistan SC Rules in Blasphemy Case

Pakistan's Supreme Court has acquitted a Christian woman who has been on death row for nearly eight years on blasphemy charges.

Bibi, 53, a native of the central Pakistani village of Ithan Wali, was acquitted by a three-member bench of the Supreme Court after spending nine years on death row for allegedly insulting Prophet Muhammad and the Quran.

A Christian woman in Pakistan on death row for almost a decade after she allegedly contaminated a water jug - an offense viewed as blasphemy in the Muslim country - was acquitted by the country's top court on Wednesday.

Supreme Court of Pakistan has acquitted Aasiya Bibi (Asia Bibi) from blasphemy case.

The ruling was read out by Chief Justice Saquib Nisar at the Supreme Court in Islamabad.

The allegations against Bibi date back to 2009, when she was working in a field and was asked to fetch water. Let us know in the comments.

The TLP's leadership called for the death of Nasif, the chief justice, and two other judges on the panel.

Bibi's case started when, according to her autobiography, she sought to get some drinking water out of a well on a hot fruit-picking day.

Supporters of Islamist political party Tehreek-e-Labaik (TLP), which was founded to support Pakistan's harsh blasphemy laws, immediately condemned the ruling and blocked roads in Karachi, the country's largest city, and in the city of Lahore.

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The decision is expected to come down overnight tonight and will determine if this Christian mom of five is set free or hanged for her Christian faith.

No one has ever been executed in Pakistan on blasphemy charges even though dozens have been jailed or extrajudicially killed, at times, in mob lynchings.

Tahir Khalil Singh, one of Asia Bibi's lawyers, told Premier: "I am so satisfied".

Pakistani paramilitary soldiers stand guard outside the Supreme Court building in Islamabad on Wednesday.

Her case drew the attention of worldwide rights groups and swiftly became the most high-profile in the country.

Meanwhile, CJP Nisar had observed that committing blasphemy was the most appalling and spiteful offence, and not only "our laws but the fundamentals of our religion also place strict standards of proof to prove the crime".

Minority Affairs Minister Shahbaz Bhatti who also spoke in Ms Bibi's support was shot dead two months after Mr Taseer was killed.

Bibi's representatives have claimed she was involved in a dispute with her neighbours and that her accusers had contradicted themselves. "For the past eight years, Asia Bibi's life languished in limbo", said Omar Waraich, deputy South Asia director for Amnesty International.

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