For Asia Bibi—the Christian mother of five on death row in Pakistan because of her unflinching commitment to Jesus Christ—even being acquitted by the Pakistani Supreme Court could be just the first step towards true freedom and justice. In a recent interview with The Daily Mail, her husband explains the various dangers his wife faces.
The Maulvis (clerics) want her dead. They have announced a prize of Rs 10,000 to Rs 500,000 (£60 to £3,200) for anyone who kills Asia. They have even declared that if the court acquits her they will ensure the death sentence stands.
'I am planning our protection. If she is set free I hope we're moved to a safer country as Pakistan cannot protect her.
'She's not made any mistake. We all know she's not committed any crime. We all know how Pakistan treats Christians. She was framed, she never committed any crime." [...]
Under Pakistan's penal code anyone who 'defiles the sacred name of the Holy Prophet' can be punished by death or life imprisonment.
Convictions are common but the death sentence has never been carried out. Most convictions are thrown out on appeal, but angry mobs have killed many people accused of blasphemy.
Asia Bibi remains strong and steadfast in her faith despite the threats and dangers. Her case reveals the absurd human rights violations inherent in Pakistan's blasphemy laws. She faces death simply for drinking from a Muslim's cup and refusing to deny Jesus Christ.
Her husband continues to pray and advocate for his wife.
'I really love her and miss her presence,' he said. 'I cannot sleep at night as I miss her. I miss her smile; I miss everything about her. She is my soul mate. I cannot see her in prison. It breaks my heart. Life has been non-existent without her.
'My children cry for their mother, they are broken. But I try to give them hope where I can.' [...]
'She is a very strong woman. She's not cried in front of me once, just keeps smiling and tells me not to worry.
'She says she even argues with the other inmates or guards if they say anything to her. She is not the coy type, she's very bold. She counts the days that pass.'
And every day she sits on death row for her Christian faith is an affront to justice.
With the help of our affiliates in Europe and Pakistan, we will continue to advocate worldwide until Asia Bibi is truly safe and returned home to her husband and children.
Furthermore, to ensure international human rights violations end once and for all, we will continue to fight for reforms that respect people of all faiths.
But we must continue to pray and speak out to create international pressure to save Asia Bibi from death row and the bounty placed on her head.
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