November 21, 2010

Asia Bibi Appeals To Punjab Gov. Salman Taseer

Lets hope the Governor keeps his word.

Punjab Gov. Salman Taseer told reporters Saturday he is also going to appeal for Bibi's release.

"I am going to take this petition to the president, and the president will forgive her," he said.

That raised hope among her family members, who say they have only seen her five times since her arrest.

"I want my mother to be released in time for Christmas, so we can celebrate together," Sidra said.

Note they are not saying she is not guilty but they will forgive her. Keep up the pressure, the important thing is not how the Governor saves face, but that Bibi's life is saved.

More

The 45-year-old mother of five appeared in a tearful televised briefing for reporters Saturday at the prison in Punjab province, declaring her innocence to reporters and maintaining the case stemmed from personal disputes that led to a false accusation.

"I have small children," pleaded Bibi, wearing a veil covering all but her eyes. "For God's sake, please set me free."

Bibi has been in prison for the last 1 1/2 years and on Nov. 8 became the first woman sentenced to hang for blasphemy. Pope Benedict XVI has called for her release.

...ibi's husband, Ashiq Masih, says that is what happened to his wife in June 2009. He said his wife was picking fruit in an orchard in their village of Attian Wali, west of the Punjab provincial capital of Lahore, when she went to fetch some water for the group. When she returned, some of the Muslim women refused to drink from a container touched by a Christian, he said.

Offended, Bibi exchanged heated words with the women, he said. The family thought nothing further of the spat — until five days later when dozens of Muslims from the town's mosque appeared and dragged her away, according to the husband's account.

The angry women claimed that Bibi had insulted Islam's Prophet Muhammad, and the local imam had denounced her from the pulpit.

Bibi's 18-year-old daughter, Sidra, said she followed the crowd to the mosque and witnessed people hitting and insulting her mother.

"They told her to admit the charges of blasphemy, but she wouldn't," Sidra said. "They tried to force her to convert to Islam, but she wouldn't. Then they started beating her."

Bibi was eventually taken to the local police station and charged with blasphemy.

Here is the video of Bibi.

We pray for and demand her unconditional release and also for the end of persecution of Christians by Muslims in Pakistan.

By Howie at 09:17 AM | Comments |