Pakistanis trying to influence justice
October 14, 2018
Pakistanis are threatening to strike nationwide if leniency is shown to Asia Bibi [Ah-seea Beebee], a woman who has been sentenced to death for a blasphemy charge. The charge was related to the fact that she is Christian, and in 2009 she drank water with the same cup some Muslims at her workplace had been drinking with, and then made comments defending her religious belief when challenged about her actions and told that she was unclean.
The TLP, an Islamic political party in Pakistan, has ordered its members to conduct a sit-in protest (opens new window), and has threatened that Pakistan's leaders may be killed, and if so the blame for this would be on the judges' heads. This is all happening because there are rumours that clemency may be shown to Asia at her latest appeal.
This big push at the moment in Pakistan is an attempt to get Imran Khan to strengthen and confirm the current blasphemy law in the country. At least two people in Pakistan have been killed so far because of fighting for Asia's rights and working to remove the blasphemy law.
I've also heard that Gulalai Ismail, who came to New Zealand in August to talk about her human rights work, was arrested when entering Pakistan, her home country, a couple of days ago. Apparently she's been released on bail, and her passport has been confiscated - she's listed on an Exit Control List, which presumably means that she now can't leave Pakistan. The charges are to do with a political rally she took part in. It's sad to see this attempt to see her silenced in this way.