(AsiaNews) - Appeal proceedings have been delayed again in the case of Asia
Bibi, the Christian mother of five sentenced to death for blasphemy.
Court Judges Sardar Tariq Masood and Abdul Sami Khan adjourned the case shortly
after the hearing begun and arguments presented.
Court sources said
that a new date for the appeal is expected tomorrow in a case that has dragged
on without any progress for quite some time.
months, extremist groups have also been making threats against the judges in
order to pressure them to confirm the death penalty imposed by the lower court.
woman's lawyers said they remain confident and hopeful that the High Court will
soon overturn her conviction and let her go.
In recent days,
Pakistani Christians have promoted days
of fasting and prayer on behalf
of Asia Bibi and Sawan Masih, both of whom are innocent but sentenced to death
under the infamous "black law".
Asia Bibi, who
has been on death row since November 2010 held under solitary confinement on
security grounds, has become a symbol of the fight against blasphemy.
Salman Taseer, and Federal Minority Affairs Minister Shahbaz Bhatti, a
Catholic, were killed in 2011 for coming to her defence.
Sawan Masih, a 26-year-old
Christian from Lahore, was convicted recently by a lower court on false charges
as a result of a personal dispute with the person who reported him.
It is sad "to
see how the situation in Pakistan is getting worse by the day, not only for
minorities, but especially for women and girls", Fr James Chand, from the
Archdiocese of Lahore, told AsiaNews. "Let
us continue to pray for Asia Bibi and Sawan Masih," he added.
Fr Arthur Nat, a
priest from Central Punjab, joined his appeal, calling for "a day of
fasting and prayer on Wednesday."
Meanwhile, a new
case of child sexual assault has been reported. Yesterday, a 12-year-old girl
was raped by an Islamic cleric in a Punjab mosque.
that the imam sent students home, asking the girl to stay. He then assaulted
her with the help of four boys.
family plans to report the crime, but it appears that the religious leader has
already fled the area without leaving a trace.