Asia Bibi is a Pakistani Christian woman who has been sentenced to hang in Pakistan as a result of the new blasphemy law, prohibiting anyone to communicate anything that may be seen as an insult to Islam. She is mother to 5 children, who are currently living in hiding with their father as a resut of Asia's prosecution. Their lives are also at risk.
Asia was accused by a Muslim in Pakistan of insulting the Prophet Muhammad last July. However, there is no evidence for this, and the accusation seems to have been made by the woman to settle a dispute. Pakistan's blasphemy law is often taken advantage of to settle such disputes, as the issue is taken very seriously, and people are convicted on the basis of one person's false testimony. Asia may be the first person to be sentenced to death for this crime (that there is no proof that she committed), but at least 10 other people have been killed whilst in prison or court due to these charges. Often such allegations are a death sentence in themselves.
The law in itself is wrong as well. It is used as a way to get rid of religious minorities, and to solve disputes easily. Even if people are blasphemous, this law denies people the basic right to freedom of speech.
It is understandable that a country with such strong religious beliefs and foundations such as Pakistan takes matters such as these seriously. But looking at it from a religious point of view, should it not be God (or Allah) who punishes people rather than the population? Hanging someone for such a 'crime' is just the public's retaliation to the action, and any religious teaching, no matter what faith, talks about forgiveness and preserving life.
So Asia will hang as a result of this accusation, and her husband and five children may also die as a result. Will the rest of the world sit back and allow this to happen to an innocent family who just happen to be part of an Religious minority in the area? Will we approve of a law that results in the deaths of innocent people just to settle a squabble? The answer is no, we will not. We believe that this law is wrong, and we will fight for its abolition.
We, the undersigned, therefore ask the government of the United Kingdom to use its international influence to represent the will of its citizens and pressure Pakistan to abolish this law.