Pakistani convicted of blasphemy placed in solitary confinement

Oct 15, 2015

Wire Services

Christian woman on death row in Pakistan for blasphemy has been put in solitary confinement over fears of attacks by vigilantes enraged over a high-profile ruling in a separate blasphemy case that moderates said struck a blow against religious extremism in the country.

Prison officials and rights activists said this week that they were concerned for Asia Bibi’s life due to the security threat and her worsening health. The mother-of-five, whose plight has prompted prayers from the Vatican, has been on death row since she was convicted in 2010 of committing blasphemy.

Bibi’s lawyer Sardar Mushtaq has said his client was arrested after Muslim women told a cleric in a village in the eastern Punjab province that she had made “derogatory remarks” about the Prophet Muhammad. He said the trouble began when the women objected to Bibi using their drinking glass because she was not a Muslim, setting off a heated verbal exchange.

Bibi denies the charges against her. The Supreme Court agreed in July to hear an appeal against her sentence, but no date has yet been set. She was placed in solitary confinement last week at the women’s prison in the city of Multan, an official there told Agence France-Presse.

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9 comments on “Pakistani convicted of blasphemy placed in solitary confinement

  • @OP – his client was arrested after Muslim women told a cleric in a village in the eastern Punjab province that she had made “derogatory remarks” about the Prophet Muhammad. He said the trouble began when the women objected to Bibi using their drinking glass because she was not a Muslim, setting off a heated verbal exchange.

    So this was a tiff between two women over bigotry! – and then religion got involved as a god-spat!

    Perhaps one or both women should have been told to grow up, and behave as responsible adults, – but I suppose if you ask infantile clerics in a country with delusional infantile temper-tantrum laws, there are no responsible adults available to show them how to do it!

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  • Indeed.

    All religion is infantile but some people can make their delusion much more infantile than others.

    I won’t live long enough to see this part of the world enter the 19st century!

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  • Just for the sake of argument let’s accept blasphemy as a crime, analogous to inciting to high treason.

    Imagine in the UK or USA, two women had a fight over nothing, so one called a cop and accused her of incitement to high treason.
    The accused denies it. Perhaps the cops look around for evidence (pamphlets, bomb making materials), but more likely they read it correctly and have angry words with the accuser for wasting their time.

    And if the accused was unlucky enough to encounter a bigoted cop on a bad day, and get taken into custody … there’s still no evidence, and there wouldn’t be vigilantes creeping out of the woodwork, and it wouldn’t need to get to the Supreme Court to find a judge who knows the law and is willing to enforce it.

    This does not do credit to the nation of Pakistan.

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  • Intellectually, Pakistan is a nation of primitive savages with horrible human rights abuses. And yet the U.S. remains cozy with them. As we do with Saudi Arabia despite their medieval human rights abuses. I wonder what the price will be for the hypocrisy of the U.S. government? I’m ashamed for our entire nation that our government is not speaking against such tyranny and for the prisoners in Iran. Barack Obama is missing a pair of testicles.

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  • 6
    Miserablegit says:

    The problems with blasphemy are here for all to see, accusations fly and the innocent languish in prison on the say so of a religious nutter.

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  • Pakistan’s laws are religious codes and blasphemy is one such rule that is punishable by death. There is nothing extrem about blasphemy code to which the people agree to as the final true rule of allah by allah except for the execution which is by government or some man-club authority. There should be a uniformed law that protects expression and speech of a person no matter the state religion and regardless of the person’s sex and age. Aren’t we glad that the US separates state and church that its people don’t have to endure what people like in Pakistan have to without choice but to give into no matter how insensitive and insensible ?

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  • Prayers from the Vatican? Well well! On one hand there are religious nutters who need to defend their useless god from offence because he is so worthless and contemptible he can’t act for himself and on the other hand there is another bunch of nutters muttering incantations to their worthless and contemptible god because they think he is actually capable of doing something! I tell you the stupid wield immense power and the rest of us are completely fucked as a consequence.

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  • Meanwhile a similar case in Saudi Arabia has attracted wider attention!

    Saudi blogger Raif Badawi awarded Sakharov human rights prize
    .Saudi blogger Raif Badawi, whose flogging sentence caused an outcry, has been awarded the European Parliament’s Sakharov human rights prize.

    Parliament President Martin Schulz urged Saudi King Salman “to free him, so he can accept the prize”.

    Mr Badawi was sentenced to 10 years in jail and 1,000 lashes in Saudi Arabia for “insulting Islam”.

    Earlier this month he also won the Pen Pinter Prize for championing free speech.

    The Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought has been awarded by the European Parliament since 1988 to individuals or organisations for their contribution to the fight for human rights and democracy.

    It is named after the Soviet scientist and dissident Andrei Sakharov.

    That should be interesting, considering that the Saudi’s have been mouthing off to the UK about “not being lectured to on human rights”!

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