Life or death

Pakistani court agrees to hear Christian woman’s appeal against death sentence

Ashiq Masih, husband of Asia Bibi, a Christian woman facing a death sentence for blasphemy, leaves the court in Lahore on Tuesday. Photograph: Arif Ali/AFP/Getty Images

The Pakistani Supreme Court will hear the appeal of Asia Bibi, a Christian woman who was sentenced to death for blasphemy in a case that caught the attention of human rights campaigners. Bibi was convicted in 2010 for insulting the prophet Mohammed during a dispute she had over drinking water with the Muslim women whom she was working alongside. She denies the charges against her, however, and appealed against the death sentence in November. Her lawyer says the allegation was concocted against her and has no basis in facts. Christians make up about 1.6 percent of the country’s 200 million people, and are often discriminated against and marginalized by the Muslim majority. While insulting the Mohammed carries a death sentence in Pakistan, no one has ever been executed for such a crime — although allegations of blasphemy often prompt mob violence.

Read the full story at The Guardian.

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