Canada demands release of Asia Bibi

December 31, 2011 by  
Filed under Asia, newsletter-asia, Pakistan, Persecution

AsiabibiPakistan, December 15, 2011: Canada’s Parliament is demanding the release of a Christian woman condemned under Pakistan’s blasphemy law.

Seven days ago, Hon. Irwin Cotler (Mount Royal, Lib.) made the following motion:

That, the House of Commons joins the Senate of Canada in calling upon the Government of Pakistan to immediately release Ms. Asia Bibi, to ensure her safety and well-being, to hear the outcry of the international community, and to respect the principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The Central Council of Pakistan Christian Congress (PCC) has praised the action on behalf of Bibi, a Christian mother of five, who faces the death penalty under the blasphemy law.

Pakistani Christian Post (PCP) reported that Bob Dechert, Member for Mississauga-Erindale (CPC) speaking in the House said, “Last November, the Minister of Foreign Affairs issued a statement concerning Asia Bibi’s incarceration in Pakistan under its blasphemy law. At the time, the Government of Canada registered its concerns with Pakistan at the highest levels. We have also called on the Government of Pakistan to repeal laws criminalizing blasphemy which restrict religious freedom and expression, and target religious minorities.”

He also noted that Governor Taseer and Minister Shahbaz Bhatti, the two government officials who were gunned down for speaking out against the blasphemy law and urging freedom for Bibi.  

PCP said addressing the House, Phil McColeman, Member for Brant (CPC) expressed his concern over the sentencing, adding that their objections were registered with Pakistan’s foreign minister.  Canada has urged Pakistan to repeal the blasphemy laws.  Officials say they restrict freedom of religion and of expression. These laws, he said, have disproportionately targeted religious minorities.

Voice of the Martyrs, along with dozens of religious rights watchdog groups, agrees. Many Pakistani Christians have been falsely accused under the Blasphemy Law, or Law 295.

Law 295a, blaspheming Islam, and Law 295b, blaspheming the Qur’an, are criminal offenses. Law 295c makes blaspheming Mohammed a crime punishable by death. Courtrooms packed with militants have often pressured judges into returning a guilty verdict or continuing trials indefinitely.

Pray that Christians in Pakistan will have a bold testimony to those around them. Pray for protection for Christians facing intimidation and threats.

– mnn

Enter Google AdSense Code Here

Comments are closed.