The President of the European Parliament Antonio Tajani has spoken out this week about the case of Asia Bibi, who is still waiting to hear if she will face the death penalty for allegedly breaking Pakistan’s blasphemy laws.
Mr Tajani spoke about Asia’s plight at the Parliament’s plenary session in Strasbourg on wednesday and urged for her to be freed.
“We need to save Asia Bibi. She is in prison only because she is Christian,” he told journalists, adding: “This is a big mistake, it is against human rights. We want to defend human rights everywhere. For this, we need to save Asia Bibi.”
He went on to say that “We need to save Asia Bibi. She is in prison only because she is Christian”
“I ask that she is guaranteed a fair trial and to stop this discrimination and religious prejudice,” he added.
The news comes as Asia Bibi waits to hear the verdict of Pakistan’s Supreme Court. They are said to have reached a verdict following her appeal. However, they are delaying it due to the explosive atmosphere around the case. Islamic extremists are threatening to murder the judges if she wins the appeal.
“The influence of a given religion in a nation ought never to mean that citizens of another religion can be subject to discrimination in social life or, even worse, that violence against them can be tolerated.”...
- 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