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An interview with Asia Bibi facing death penalty

A human rights activist based in Pakistan has supplied Christians Together with the transcript of an interview he conducted with Asia Bibi, the Pakistani woman facing the death sentence for blasphemy.
 


Aasia BibiAsia Bibi (born c. 1966) is a Pakistani Christian wife and mother of five children who was convicted of blasphemy by a Pakistani court, receiving a sentence of death by hanging. The verdict, which would need to be upheld by a superior court, has received worldwide attention.
If executed, Asia would be the first woman in Pakistan to be lawfully killed for blasphemy. Christian minister Shahbaz Bhatti and Pakistani government politician Salmaan Taseer were both killed for opposing the blasphemy laws.

The following is a transcript of an interview conducted at the beginning of November by a Pakistani journalist (PJ is a pseudonym) speaking to Aasia Bibi. 11/11/11 marked the end of her first year in prison.

For further information about Aasia Bibi read on......

---------------------------

PJ: How are you being treated?

AB: When I was arrested, i was assaulted and harnessed by the police... I was in a state of shock for many days.... I fasted and prayed... my family has been in trouble... they have been moving one place to another... yes i have forgiven the Muslims who put me and my family in this situation. I live in a confined cell, i am allowed to go out for only 30 minutes every day.... and allowed to meet my family for 1 hour every Tuesday....
I am given raw material to cook for myself, the administration fears I might be poisoned, as other Christians accused of Blasphemy were poisoned or killed in the jail.... the security on my duty is polite. Last week a few hot words were exchanged with the warden over a minute issue, she tried to strangled me. She has been suspended.

PJ: What are your expectations for the future?

AB: I pray and and fast, I want to be with my family. Hug my daughters, kiss them. I am awaiting for a date from the Lahore High Court for the appeal regarding the death sentence... Masihi Foundation is supporting my family and has hired a lawyer for the case. A petition has been filed at the Lahore high Court awaiting them to accept the case for hearing.... I am hopeful that I will be released. There is a bounty of about 8,000$ offered by the religious clerics, I have left everything on God, I will accept His will...

PJ: Do you have a message for the Christians [of the West]?

AB: I will request them to pray and do something for the Christians in Pakistan who are suffering and persecuted....there are many other Christians in jails who need help... They can help the human rights organizations who fight for the persecuted and become the voice of the voiceless.

PJ: Is there any way [Christians in the West] can help you?

AB: They can pray and ask their government / representatives to do something for the persecuted Christians....

PJ: What do you think of the Pakistani blasphemy law?

AB: Blasphemy law is a man made law, it is being misused in Pakistan to settle personal vendettas, it should be repealed or atleast amended.. It has claimed so many innocent lives... I have also been falsely accused.

PJ: What ks the general situation of Christians in Pakistan?

AB: Its not very good, the Christians specially in the villages are living a worst life, they are mistreated, abused and framed for false cases as they cannot afford to fight for their rights.... the NGOs need support to help them, they are denied government jobs and not given the respect... only 10 % of the Christians are able to get good jobs and are settled only because they are educated. The odd jobs in the country are reserved only for the Christians.

PJ has also talked with Aasia Bibi's two daughters:

Bibi`s Daughter Alishba said:

" We are praying and fasting for our mother so that she can be with us, I visit her with my father and each time I meet her, i cant stop myself and tears pour out. My mother tries to hold my hand through the gaps between the grilled window and says, have faith in the Lord, He will bring me home one day.
Every time I hear these words, I cry to the Lord to bring back my mother so that we can be with her again."


The youngest daughter said:

" It has been months I have not met my mother, I an scared... I just see her pictures and can't control my tears. I fear that I will not be able to see my mother in the condition she is in. As I have the pleasant memories of her when she was with us, so I cannot even imagine what she is going through.
There are times I even lose all the hope of seeing her ever again, so I want to keep the memories of her smiling and playing with us. If she comes back to us, I will forget this whole thing as a bad dream."




Please pray for Asia and her family and act as the Lord leads.

Write to them

For other reports of Christians facing persecution and death in Pakistan read:
Increasing persecution of Pakistani Christians
Pakistani Christians being raped and killed
Pakistani Christians protesting recent killing


PJ (Pseudonym), 18/11/2011

Feedback:
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Editor 29/01/2012 22:49
Petition for Pakistani Asia Bibi's release from death sentence reaches over 500,000

Asia Noreen Bibi, whose case has received global interest, including that of Pope Benedict XVI, was sentenced to death by hanging in 2011 after spending more than a year in a Pakistani prison.

Asia Bibi, a wife and mother, is accused of making derogatory remarks about the Prophet Muhammad by Muslim witnesses, which she has denied.

Calls for Asia Bibi's release have increased as she awaits the Lahore High Court's ruling on her appeal in jail. A petition for Asia Bibi's release, which hopes to reach one million signatures, has already reached 560,848.

Read on http://au.christiantoday.com/article/petition-for-pakistani-asia-bibis-release-from-death-sentence-reaches-over-500000/12740.htm

For Voice of the Martyr's petition see -
http://www.callformercy.com/
Church of Scotland (Guest) 09/03/2012 16:19
The Church of Scotland has reaffirmed its support for the campaign to secure the release of a Christian woman held under Pakistan’s Blasphemy Law.

Asia Bibi was convicted in November 2010 and the Church of Scotland wrote then to the Government of Pakistan calling for her to be released and pardoned. The letter also urged them to repeal the Blasphemy Law.

A protest, march and peace rally is taking place in London tomorrow (Saturday March 10) at which campaigners will commemorate the first anniversary of the killing of Shahbaz Bhatti, Pakistan’s Minister for Minorities Affairs, demand the release of Asia Bibi, and call for the repeal of the Blasphemy Law.

A letter sent by the Church of Scotland will be read out at the three hour rally in Trafalgar Square, which has been organized by the British Pakistani Christian Association. The letter has been signed by the Very Rev Andrew McLellan, Convener of the Church of Scotland’s World Mission Council, and the rev Ian Galloway, Convener of the Church of Scotland’s Church and Society Council.

The Church of Scotland has ties with Pakistan which date back to 1857, and gave financial help following the 2005 earthquake in northern Pakistan and the more recent devastating floods. This allowed aid to reach communities of all faiths which had been affected by the disasters.

The Very Rev Andrew McLellan, Convener of the Church of Scotland’s World Mission Council, said: “We urge the Government of Pakistan to release and pardon Asia Bibi and to ensure that she and her family are protected from those who would seek take the law into their own hands.

“The Church of Scotland is concerned about the use and abuse of the Blasphemy Law in Pakistan to settle scores, exact revenge or inflame religious extremism. We urge the Government of Pakistan to repeal this law, which was designed to protect people of all faiths and to promote respect for all religions.

“Unfortunately it is being used to intimidate and terrorise minority faith communities in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. This goes against the traditions and teachings of Islam and is contrary to the culture of the majority of Pakistanis.”

For more information on tomorrow’s protest, march and peace rally visit http://britishpakistanichristian.blogspot.com/2011/11/protest-march-and-trafalgar-square.html
(Guest) 30/05/2012 21:43
This is a humble request to America, England, Canada and other European Countries, to protect Asia Bibi not by petition but make her flee from Pakistan. If she will free from the prision but still her life will be at risk because Muslim Militants will kill her and her family. Please these countries are giving Asylum to all people who are in danger but nobody in this world to safe our Christian sister.
Assist News Service (Guest) 15/12/2012 17:08
The husband of a Pakistani Christian woman, Asia Bibi, sentenced to death for blasphemy, appealed to Spain on Thursday to help free her and grant her asylum.

According to AFP, Ashiq Masih met with Spain's junior foreign minister Gonzalo de Benito in Madrid and spoke to journalists afterwards alongside Masih's daughter Sidra, 19, one of his and Asia Bibi's five children.

"We are very happy and have great faith that this country will help free my wife," Masih said via an interpreter.

He said the family had received threats since Bibi was sentenced to death in November 2010 after women claimed she insulted the Prophet Mohammed. Bibi is currently in jail pending an appeal.

"She is protected in prison and they are treating her well, but she is having a hard time because she is very far from her family and is suffering psychologically," Masih said.

"We live in hiding in Pakistan and we are very afraid. They say we have blasphemed against Mohammed and that they are going to kill us," he added.

Read on..
http://www.assistnews.net/Stories/2012/s12120061.htm
Hanna S (Guest) 26/01/2013 22:44
I'm lost for words. It is sickening. Free this poor woman NOW!
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