30 June 2016
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  • mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato


    » 05/09/2007, 00.00

    PAKISTAN

    New apostasy bill to impose death on anyone who leaves Islam

    Qaiser Felix

    Pakistan’s government sends draft bill tabled by six-party Islamic alliance to standing committee for review. Under the bill’s terms, apostates would be sentenced to death or life in prison. Testimony by two adults is the only independent evidence needed to determine or demonstrate apostasy. Lahore archbishop is praying the bill is never adopted.

    Islamabad (AsiaNews) – A draft bill adopted in first reading by Pakistan’s National Assembly is now before a standing committee. Tabled by a six-party politico-religious alliance, the Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal or MMA, the Apostasy Act 2006 which the government sent to the committee would impose the death penalty on Muslim men and life in prison on Muslim women in case they leave Islam. It would also force them to forfeit their property and lose legal custody of children.

    During the same session, lawmakers rejected another draft bill moved by minority MNA Bhandara which sought to amend the existing blasphemy law.

    “This situation is unfortunate and sad. We demand freedom of conscious, religion and expression in Pakistan, and this bill is contrary to the principle of freedom of choice”, said Archbishop Lawrence John Saldanha, head of National Commission for Justice and Peace and chairman of the Pakistan Catholic Bishops’ Conference.

    “Because international human rights charters give every individual the right to change his or her religion according to his or her conscience, we hope and pray that this bill will not be passed,” Mgr Saldanha said.

    Should the bill become law anyone who leaves Islam for another religion can be sentenced to death (if male) or life in prison ‘until repentance occurs’ (if female).

    Section 4 of the bill says that the offender’s own confession in court or the testimony by at least two adults is sufficient grounds for conviction in apostasy cases. Testimony by non Muslims is not however admissible in certain Pakistani courts.

    Section 5 stipulates that the ‘offender’ must be granted 3 to 30 days to recant the conversion and return to Islam. But even in cases where the person returns to Islam judges can impose two-year sentences as punishment for the original ‘crime’. The accused can convert and reconvert up to three times before the death sentence becomes automatic.

    Under Section 8 apostates forfeit all their properties which are awarded only to their Muslim relatives. Section 9 says that they also lose custody to any minor in their care and guardianship, including their biological children.

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    See also

    17/02/2016 11:50:00 PAKISTAN
    Pakistan: Christians and Muslims divided on "State sermons"

    The Provincial Assembly of Sindh wants to introduce a law to control the preaching of the ulema. The sermons will be released only if previously approved by the government. All Islamic parties oppose the draft. The Catholic Church points out the pros and cons. "The new law will curb sectarianism," but "in the future we may also be asked to register our homilies".



    29/04/2016 18:17:00 PAKISTAN
    Punjab: home-based workers call for the recognition of their rights

    More than a hundred women marched yesterday in front of the Lahore Press Club, holding banners, calling for their wages to be raised to the national minimum. Some 12 million workers are employed in this area, and are denied the same rights that other workers enjoy. Since 2013, a draft bill has been before the Punjab cabinet waiting for approval. See the video of the protest.



    16/06/2015 PAKISTAN
    Islamic clerics back blasphemy laws: those who insult Mohammed have no right to live
    Ten ulema and a former judge criticised a bill that would water down the existing blasphemy law. They also support the release of Mumtaz Qadri, who murdered Punjab Governor Salman Taseer, who defended Asia Bibi.

    03/12/2010 PAKISTAN
    Christian and Muslim religious leaders call for changes to blasphemy law
    At a seminar organised by the Jinnah Institute in Islamabad, representatives of religious groups and civil society call on the government to review sections of the Penal Code and the Code of Penal Procedure that are easily abused. For them, blasphemy accusations are especially used by some for personal vendettas or to discriminate against minorities, as the Asia Bibi case shows.

    14/04/2009 PAKISTAN
    Swat Valley: President Zardari authorises Islamic law, Taliban rejoice
    Fundamentalists threaten to kill lawmakers for “apostasy” who voted against proposal. Catholic activist slams the presidential signature, expressing appreciation for the courage of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement, the only political party that did not vote for the pro-Sharia resolution.



    Editor's choices

    CHINA - VATICAN
    Vatican silence over Shanghai’s Mgr Ma Daqin causing confusion and controversy

    Bernardo Cervellera

    For some, Mgr Ma’s blog post praising the Patriotic Association and acknowledging his mistakes is nothing but “dirt”. For others, he chose humiliation for the “sake of his diocese”. Many wonder why the Holy See has remained silent about the article’s content and the bishop’s persecution. Some suspect the Vatican views the episode in positive terms. Yet, the Ma Daqin affair raises a major question. Has Benedict XVI’s Letter to Chinese Catholics (which describes the Patriotic Association as “incompatible with Catholic doctrine”) been abolished? If it has, who did it? A journey of compromises without truth is full of risks.


    CHINA – VATICAN
    Mgr Ma Daqin: the text of his “confession”

    Mons. Taddeo Ma Daqin

    Four years after quitting the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association, the bishop of Shanghai “admits” his faults on his blog, praising the organisation that controls the Church. We publish his article, almost in its entirety. Translation by AsiaNews.


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