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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

    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.

    15/11/2007 PAKISTAN
    Countdown for democracy in Islamabad
    After five years pro-Musharraf National Assembly is dissolved at the stroke of midnight tonight. Elections are scheduled for January 9 but arrests and human rights violations continue throughout the country. Justice and Peace Commission calls for a return to constitutional rule and an independent judiciary.

    01/04/2008 PAKISTAN
    Enough discrimination we want a modern Pakistan, says Christian lawmaker
    Shahbaz Bhatti, a Christian who chairs the All Pakistan Minorities Alliance, was just elected to Pakistan’s National Assembly. In his maiden speech to the house he makes a plea for equal rights for the country’s non Muslim communities.



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