PAKISTAN: Asia Bibi to spend Christmas in a prison cell
By Martin Bashir, BBC
Islamabad/London, 22.12.2016 (BBC) – As churches around the country prepare to celebrate the birth of Christ, with peace and goodwill toward men, spare a thought for those who must live out their faith in a foreign land. This will be the seventh consecutive Christmas mother-of-five Asia Bibi will spend in solitary confinement within the Islamic Republic of Pakistan – a country that has what the United Nations describes as “one of the worst situations in the world for religious freedom”.
A member of the Christian minority, just 1.6% of the population, 45-year-old Asia Bibi was jailed after being found guilty of breaching Pakistan’s strict blasphemy laws.
Her case has provoked global protests, with supporters accusing the judiciary of fabricating the charge to persecute a Christian. There have been no fewer than three attempts at appealing against the verdict.
There’s also been a direct intervention by Pope Francis, who received a delegation of family and friends at the Vatican. But still she languishes in a small cell as the world awaits a final decision from the Supreme Court in Lahore.
Continue reading here.