Rescue Asia Bibi!
After five postponements, the Court of Appeals in Lahore, Pakistan convicted Asia Bibi for her Christian faith.
Asia Bibi is being charged with blasphemy and apostasy for holding fast to her Christian faith in the predominantly muslim country. During her defense hearing, the prosecution had Islamic imams waiting in the wings to intimidate witnesses who testified on behalf of Asia Bibi.
Can the court of an Islamic judge rule with independence, neutrality and objectivity under the intimidating presence of 20 mullahs? How is it even possible to have judicial independence in a country that does not distinguish between civil law and religious law? Or in a court system where "guardians of the faith" oversee the legal process?
Asia Bibi's rights have been trampled during this case. The mere existence of the blasphemy law in Pakistan is a serious violation of the fundamental right to religious freedom. After all, the U.N. Declaration of Human Rights ensures in Article 18 that:
"Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance."
Asia Bibi did not received a fair or just trial and sentence. She has not even had a chance to defend her innocence against false accusations.
The family of Asia Bibi has said they will appeal to the Pakistani Supreme Court, the highest judicial body. But given what has happened in the Court of Appeal we cannot be optimistic. It's time for the United States, United Kingdom, and other Western nations to flex diplomatic muscle.
The missionaries and NGOs working in Pakistan know that the government would never do anything that would disturb the United States. For this reason, the most useful thing to do right now is write the U.S. embassy and ask them to mobilize, unleashing all of their diplomatic energy to release Asia Bibi .
By signing this petition, you will send an email to the American Ambassador to Pakistan, Richard Olson. You may be Asia Bibi's last hope!
Last May, CitizenGO president Ignacio Arsuaga visited Asia Bibi's family in Pakistan to get an in-detail view of the situation.