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mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato
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» 04/14/2014
PAKISTAN
Lahore: third postponement in Asia Bibi's appeal as Islamist threats against judges continue
by Jibran Khan
High Court began proceedings this morning, only to adjourn the hearing. A new date for a case that has lasted for years might be announced tomorrow. Optimistic, the defendant's lawyers hope to see her walk free soon. However, fundamentalist groups continue to make threats. For Lahore priest, "the situation in Pakistan is getting worse by the day, not only for minorities, but especially for women and girls."

Islamabad (AsiaNews) - Appeal proceedings have been delayed again in the case of Asia Bibi, the Christian mother of five sentenced to death for blasphemy.

Lahore High 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.

For several 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.

However, the 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.

Punjab Governor 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.

Witnesses said that the imam sent students home, asking the girl to stay. He then assaulted her ​​with the help of four boys.

The girl's family plans to report the crime, but it appears that the religious leader has already fled the area without leaving a trace.


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See also
04/17/2013 PAKISTAN
Faisalabad: Muslim leaders defend young Christian against false blasphemy accusations
by Shafique Khokhar
11/26/2012 PAKISTAN
Pakistani (and Christian) women lead the defence of minority rights
10/24/2011 PAKISTAN
Asia Bibi prays for freedom but judges are hostage of fundamentalists
by Jibran Khan
08/19/2011 PAKISTAN
Punjab: Christian family held slave to a Muslim landowner for 30 years
by Jibran Khan
11/16/2010 PAKISTAN
Blasphemy law, a sword hanging over our heads
by Anonimo*

Editor's choices
IRAQ-ITALY
"Adopt a Christian from Mosul," the thanks of the Patriarch Louis Sako; the concerns of the Bishop of Kurdistan
by Bernardo CervelleraThe head of the Chaldean Church is grateful for the AsiaNews campaign and hopes that "this chain of solidarity will reach far and wide”. Helping refugees to remain in Iraq. But many want to flee abroad. The bishop of Amadiyah where thousands of displaced people have found haven in churches and homes: We also help the Arabs (Muslims), and Yazidis, for free and without looking at our confessional differences.
ITALY - IRAQ
"Adopt a Christian from Mosul" to respond directly to Iraq's emergencyAsiaNews is launching a fundraiser to support Christians targeted by the Islamic State, thus responding to a request by the Patriarch of Baghdad and Pope Francis's urgent appeal "to guarantee all necessary assistance - especially the most urgently needed aid - to the great multitude of people who have been driven from their homes, whose fate depends entirely on the solidarity of others." More than 100,000 people have been forced to flee their homes leaving everything behind and now have nothing to live on. To help them, five euros a day are enough. The funds raised will be sent to the Patriarchate of Baghdad, which will distribute them according to the needs of each family.
CHINA - VATICAN
Wenzhou bishop and priests slam government's campaign against crosses and churches in Zhejiang
by Eugenia ZhangFor Mgr Vincent Zhu Weifang, from the official Church, the campaign of destruction is increasing social instability. It is real persecution against the Christian faith. The bishop apologises for failing to intervene sooner. He was hoping that the campaign would end quickly. Catholics and Protestants suffer injuries as they attempt to defend their sacred buildings. For priests in Wenzhou, the campaign is unfair and touches buildings that have all the right papers. Such "stupid acts" by the government are undermining social harmony.

Dossier
by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
by Lazzarotto Angelo S.
pp. 528
by Bernardo Cervellera
pp. 240
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