Three European parliamentarians are visiting Pakistan in relation to Asia Bibi’s blasphemy case
The delegation from the Group of European Conservatives and Reformers (ECR) are in the country this week to discuss its human rights situation.
Peter van Dalen, Delegation Leader and European Parliamentarian for Christian Unity SGP, Tomasz Poreba (Roman Catholic from Poland) and Branislav Skripek (Roman Catholic from Slovakia), who is also chair of the European Christian Political Movement (ECPM), a partnership of Christian parties that include Christian Union and SGP make up the group.
They are making the trip ahead of the Pakistani Supreme Court’s hearing of Bibi’s case in December.
Asia Bibi has been on death row since 2010 after being sentenced under Pakistan’s blasphemy law.
Her death penalty was confirmed by the court in Lahore in 2014 and last year a judge resigned at the beginning of a session on the matter.
The European delegation is due to speak to the foreign, justice and religious affairs ministers.
In Lahore, they met the husband and children of Asia Bibi, Lahore RK Archbishop and Asia Bibi’s lawyer.
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- Pope Emeritus Benedict
“There is a very clear sense that people are nervous about the misuse of the blasphemy law, as a tool of politics or “…a mob thing […] ” he added, flanked by two Pakistani bishops. He earlier told reporters: “Equality under the law is important…”...
- Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury
“The law for punishing blasphemy against the Prophet (sws) that is invoked in Pakistan has no foundation in the Qur'ān or Hadith.”...
- Javed Ahmad Ghamidi, Renowned Quranic scholar & Islamic modernist theologist
“The problem is not so much the idea of a law against blasphemy, as about a law whose penalty is so severe and whose practice gives so much scope for allowing people to settle private scores.” ...
- Dr Rowan Williams, 104th Archbishop of Canterbury