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    » 10/17/2014, 00.00

    INDIA - PAKISTAN

    Bishop of Pune: The Asia Bibi death sentence is an affront to the dignity of us all

    Thomas Dabre*

    Msgr. Thomas Dabre comments on the ruling of the High Court of Islamabad, which confirmed the death penalty. The blasphemy laws are "contrary to the human spirit" and "reveal a medieval and obsolete mentality." The prelate calls for the intervention of the international community.

    Mumbai (AsiaNews) - I was greatly shocked and deeply saddened when the judges decided to uphold the capital punishment to ..hapless Christian woman, Asia Bibi. In my view it is against all norms of both humans and international laws , dignity and all laws. Anycase everybody should be able to follow his/her religion there should be religious freedom and this in my view is a  grave violation of the freedom to practice one's own religion but one may not be able to see the connection. I totally condemn this sentence because in my view it is against all human dignity against all laws not only international laws but all laws , human rights. It is a violation of human rights.

     It is my deep conviction that these laws are hopelessly against the human spirit and it is betrays a medieval and obsolete  mindset it is an abuse of power and authority to award such sentences and any case such laws are always open to misinterpretation and abuse on various grounds.

    Pakistan being a Muslim  majority nation, where Christians and those of other religions are a tiny miniscule minorities, t is all the more incumbent on them to be vary of  such accusations of blasphemy. The  Pakistan government there should be very careful in applying such laws and the International community should hold the  government of Pakistan  accountable. The Pakistan government cannot disown responsibility of this death sentence  and should overturn immediately the death sentence of innocent Christian woman Asia Bibi

    I would expect international authorities and bodies to make the Pakistan government withdraw this punishment as well as these draconian Blasphemy laws, which  betrays a mindset that are against present day affirmation of human rights.

    Providentially the universal church will observe mission Sunday on 19th which is intended to promote Jesus and his values . Jesus mission was to impart to fullness of life in all liberties to all humanity,  therefore such an sentence  of capital punishment , on the dubious  grounds of the application of blasphemy law is contrary to the vision and mission of Jesus Christ.

     * Bishop of Pune
    (with the collaboration of Nirmala Carvalho)

     

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    See also

    11/11/2010 INDIA - PAKISTAN
    Pakistani Christian sentenced to death for blasphemy: a campaign like for Sakineh
    The Muslim scholar Asghar Ali Engineer accuses the blasphemy law of being un-Islamic and proposes an international campaign. He points his finger at the Pakistani government’s silence and that of many governments around the world. The All Indian Christian Council calls on New Delhi to submit the case to the UN Commission on Human Rights. Among the messages: "Silence is a second death sentence" for Asia Bibi.

    16/11/2010 PAKISTAN
    Bishop of Islamabad, Asia Bibi case "a disgrace" . A campaign by AsiaNews
    Mgr. Rufin Anthony the blasphemy law “must be repealed; it does not fit with 21st century world " Petitions to save Asia Bibi and repeal the blasphemy law in Pakistan, Italy, USA, India, France. Within hours, the AsiaNews site received over 500 signatures. Even cloistered monasteries prayfor Asia Bibi. A text to send to President Asif Zardari.

    20/12/2011 PAKISTAN
    Christmas in prison for Asia Bibi, sentenced to death for blasphemy
    She appears frail, in poor health. Grateful for prayers and calls for help and support, that she may soon return to embrace her husband and daughters. Despite the suffering, Asia has forgiven her captors and wonders how many more Christian victims will fall beneath the specter of the "black law".

    16/12/2010 PAKISTAN
    Asia Bibi “can be killed anytime,” Pakistani priest says
    The fight against the blasphemy law continues in Pakistan. Religious parties and Islamic extremists plan a campaign in favour of the legislation, which the government wants to modify. In a few days, the High Court in Lahore should set a date for the appeal against the death penalty.

    09/11/2010 PAKISTAN
    Punjab: Christian woman sentenced to death for blasphemy
    For the first time, a woman is sentenced to death in Pakistan for this kind of “offence”. The blasphemy law was introduced in 1986 by then Pakistani dictator Zia-ul Haq and since then it has become a tool for discrimination and violence. Part of the Pakistan Penal Code, the law imposes life in prison for defiling the Qur’an and death for insulting Muhammad.



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