Supreme Court overturns death sentence for Asia Bibi convicted of blasphemy

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The Supreme Court on Wednesday acquitted Asia Bibi of blasphemy charges, declaring the death penalty handed down to her  by a session court null and void.

The verdict on her final appeal against her execution  was reserved by a special three-member bench  on October 8.

The bench ruled that Asia Bibi be released if she is  not facing anymore  charges.

The verdict was  announced by a special bench headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar at 9am. Justice Asif Saeed Khosa and Justice Mazhar Alam Khan Miankhel were the other members of the bench.

While reserving the verdict after hearing, the top court had restrained both electronic and print media from discussing or commenting on the matter till the final judgement.

Asia Bibi, a Christian accused of blasphemy eight years ago, was awarded death sentence  for blaspheming against the Prophet (PBUH).

 A case was filed against her by a prayer leader in Katanwala village of Nankana Sahib.

The prayer leader said Asia had confessed to committing blasphemy during an argument with a Muslim woman over a bowl of water. She was convicted and sentenced to death in 2010 and has been in jail ever since.

Security beefed up

Sensitizing the matter, the government has made  necessary arrangements  of securities for protection of  all areas with minority population, places of worship and honorable courts.

Sindh Govt

Meanwhile, in this connection, the Sindh government has also issued a notification of high alert in the province to avert any untoward incident.

Cellular Services

Cellular and internet services would likely be suspended in major cities of the country.

Red Zone

Islamabad Red Zone has also been sealed due to security concerns. The road from Rawal Dam roundabout to Red Zone has also been closed for traffic by  placing  containers to block the passage.

TLP and other religious parties

Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) and  other  religious parties have also arranged gatherings in different cities of Pakistan to hear the court’s final judgment on the fate of Asia Bibi. They  may call countrywide protest if she was acquitted.

 

Courtesy: The News International

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