Sunday 24 February 2019

Supreme court confirms ruling to acquit Christian woman who had faced death penalty for blasphemy

Death row: Asia Bibi
Death row: Asia Bibi

Adam Withnall in Islamabad

Pakistan's supreme court has upheld its decision to acquit Asia Bibi, a Christian woman who spent eight years on death row over blasphemy charges.

Ms Bibi's case became a totemic cause for fundamentalist preachers in Pakistan after she was accused of insulting the prophet Muhammad during an argument with two Muslim women. She strongly denied the allegation.

Her conviction and death sentence were thrown out by the supreme court in October, which cited a complete lack of evidence. The decision sparked protests across the country.

Chief Justice Asif Saeed Khosa said in court yesterday that Ms Bibi's acquittal would stand.

"Based on merit, this review petition is dismissed," he told a lawyer representing dozens of petitioners.

"You could not point out [even] a single mistake in the supreme court's verdict."

Irish Independent

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