03/17/2014, 00.00
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Asia Bibi's appeal hearing postponed

A date for a new hearing has not yet been decided. Convicted under the 'blasphemy law,' the Christian woman is on death row since 2010.

Lahore (AsiaNews) - Asia Bibi's appeal hearing has been postponed "to a later date". The Christian woman was sentenced to death without evidence on the basis of the 'blasphemy law'.

Set for today, the first hearing was cancelled due to the absence of one of the two presiding judges. Under Pakistani law, two judges have to be present in death penalty cases for the entire trial.

The appeal process against Asia Bibi's conviction was announced on Friday, the Centre for Legal Aid, Assistance and Settlement told AsiaNews.

A mother of five, Asia Bibi was arrested in 2009 on charges of insulting Muhammad. In 2010, she was sentenced to death under the country's 'black law''. Since then, she has been waiting for her appeal to be heard, held in isolation at the women's prison in Sheikhupura (Punjab).

The High Court in Lahore, where the appeal is being heard, will have to decide whether the Christian woman committed a crime, namely drank a glass of water from a well owned by a Muslim.

As a result of this act, she was accused "of contaminating" the well, which was followed by a row with fellow workers and eventually the indictment for "insulting Muhammad."


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For Muslims and Christians, Asia Bibi’s misfortune can be an opportunity to reform the blasphemy laws
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