» 12/06/2010, 00.00
Lahore High Court issues stay order in Asia Bibi’s appeal against blasphemy sentence
A new order by the High Court makes it harder to discuss the controversial legislation and prevents the government from issuing a pardon for the convicted Christian woman. The appeal date against her death sentence has not yet been decided.
Lahore (AsiaNews) – On Monday, the Lahore High Court issued a stay order preventing any amendment to the blasphemy legislation until further judicial action. The petition calling for the order was filed by one Muhammed Nasir who claims that parliament has no right to amend the blasphemy law.
In its order, the court ruled that no bill regarding the blasphemy law could be presented until it delivers a verdict on the case. It also issued notices to the federal government for 23 December. It postponed the hearing of the petition filed for Asia Bibi’s pardon in the blasphemy case, although it did not set a date to hear the case.
In an earlier ruling, the court had stalled pardon moves for Asia Bibi, directing President Asif Ali Zardari and the Governor of Punjab Salmaan Taseeri to restrain from making any move to pardon the convicted woman until 6 December. Today, it decided to extend the stay order until 23 December.
Although the president was not made a direct party among the respondents, the chief justice categorically issued directions to the president saying, “No action shall be taken either by the president of Pakistan or anybody working under the authority of the functionaries performing duties under supervision of the governor of the Punjab.”
In the meantime, more and more people are joining the petition campaign launched by AsiaNews at email@example.com. So far, about 7,000 people have signed the petition online or on paper.
Ulema lie, Qur‘an does not justify blasphemy law, Pakistani Muslim says
Javed Ahmad Ghamidi, a major Muslim scholar, accuses radical Muslims of “telling lies to the people.” Fr Joseph Habib highlights the close ties between the military and religious extremists. As long as the blasphemy law exists, Pakistan will be trapped in an ever-growing cycle of violence.
Christians, Muslims, NGOs mobilise for Asia Bibi, against “obscene” blasphemy law
Woman sentenced to death sees her lawyers to file appeal. Increasingly, people are mobilising against the blasphemy law, a tool for personal vendettas and fodder for extremism. Hundreds of thousands of people sign petition in favour of Asia Bibi.
Asia Bibi's sentence is heart breaking, may the world pray for her, says Islamabad bishop
After five postponements, the High Court upholds the death penalty for the Christian woman, who has become a symbol of the fight against blasphemy. Her lawyers vow to take her case to the Supreme Court. Heartbroken by the sentence, Islamabad bishop calls for prayers. On Sunday, events are being organised across the country to show solidarity towards Asia Bibi.
Asia Bibi’s appeal to be heard by Lahore High Court
After more than four years in prison, sentenced to death without trial for "blasphemy", the Pakistani Christian will appear before High Court judges in two days time. The Centre for Legal Aid, Assistance and Settlement, which has taken up her case, appeals to the court to "not give in to pressure from fundamentalists and make sure that justice wins out”.
Lahore High Court to issue date for Asia Bibi’s appeal
President Zardari’s legal expert says the woman was convicted without been able to present her side of the story. “Some people are trying to politicise the matter and create a gap between the judiciary and the government,” a presidential spokesman says. The AsiaNews online petition on behalf of Asia Bibi and against the blasphemy law continues.
HONG KONG – CHINA – VATICAN
On “Hong Kong sectors” supposedly "against Francis"
John Mok Chit Wai
A scholar at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, who collaborates with AsiaNews, responds to accusations against the agency and people in Hong Kong with respect to criticism of the Vatican’s diplomatic approach towards China. Religious freedom is a fundamental human right and a universal value, whether in China, Russia or the Middle East. Between "Right" and "Left", China defines itself as left, yet it practices state capitalism and unfettered capitalism just as "right-wing governments" do. Gaudium et Spes calls on the faithful to engage in politics against the "arbitrary domination by [. . .] a political party,” like in China.
The "enemies" of Pope Francis
The charge made against AsiaNews that we are against the Pope and in favor of Putin, is an opportunity to outline what motivates our commitment to evangelization. And also to ask for greater professionalism from those who write about the Pope. The Pope does not need public defenders. Facilitating dialogue between "conservatives" and "progressives" to realize the Council and concern ourselves with the world so that it encounters Jesus Christ. Christ’s “enemies” were also his "friends."
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