Asia Bibi appeal complainant not even present at time of her alleged ‘blasphemy’

Asia Bibi with Punjab Governor, Salmaan Taseer, who was assassinated for supporting her case. (Photo: Office of the Governor of Punjab)
Asia Bibi’s final appeal against her execution in the Supreme Court of Pakistan went on for more than two hours. Below, World Watch Monitor provides details of what was said. Asia Bibi’s appeal hearing on 8 October took place before a three-member bench – Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar, Justice Asif . . . Read More

Pakistan: Islamic groups threaten Supreme Court judges ahead of Asia Bibi ruling

Asia Bibi with Punjab Governor, Salmaan Taseer, who was assassinated for supporting her case. (Photo: Office of the Governor of Punjab)
Radical religious groups in Pakistan have called for mass protests and threatened the judges of the country’s Supreme Court in Islamabad ahead of their ruling in the blasphemy case of Christian woman Asia Bibi. The hardline Islamic party, the Tehreek-e-Labaik Pakistan (TLP), threatened the judges in a press conference on . . . Read More

Pakistan’s Supreme Court hears Asia Bibi’s ‘blasphemy’ appeal but delays ruling

Aasiya Noreen, a Pakistani Christian woman, has been on death row for over eight years for alleged blasphemy. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
Pakistan’s Supreme Court in the capital Islamabad has finally heard the much-delayed appeal of Asia Bibi, the first Christian woman sentenced to death under Pakistan’s blasphemy law, today, 8 October. It has not announced its decision, saying it will ‘reserve judgment’ for several days or possibly weeks. Aasiya Noreen, commonly . . . Read More

‘Eliminate’ blasphemy laws, says US commission chief on International Blasphemy Day

In some countries blasphemy is a very sensitive topic and often leads to riots and violence, like in Islamabad, Pakistan, in November 2017.(Photo: World Watch Monitor)
Blasphemy laws are “dangerous” and should be “eliminated”, the chair of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) told Newsweek yesterday on International Blasphemy Day. The freedom to criticise or mock religion should not be decided by governments and their interpretation of laws, said Dr. Tenzin Dorjee. And it . . . Read More

‘Not all incidents are religiously motivated’ – Pakistan professor

Sabir Michael (YouTube / Academy for Cultural Diplomacy)
A Pakistani professor has warned that some social media activists and religious leaders are falsely portraying incidents as religiously motivated to stoke intolerance, reports UCAN. Sabir Michael, assistant professor at the Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Institute of Science and Technology in Karachi, cited three recent incidents that he said were reported . . . Read More

EU should ‘put people of the world’ first in quest for religious freedom – report

EU should ‘put people of the world’ first in quest for religious freedom – report
Members of the European Parliament (EP) have called on the EU to “put the people of the world before our financial and political interests”, in a report about religious freedom. The Annual Report on Freedom of Religion or Belief 2017, presented by the EP Intergroup on Freedom of Religion or . . . Read More

Non-state actors behind most religious freedom violations in Indonesia – report

Young people join protests against the former Christian Jakarta governor Ahok who was convicted of blasphemy in May last year. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
The number of religious freedom violations in Indonesia grew again in 2017 and for the first time non-state actors were the worst offenders, reports the Jakarta Globe. Last year 213 incidents were reported, 4% more than the year before, according to the annual report of the human rights group Wahid . . . Read More

Blasphemy accusation draws mob to Pakistan town’s only Christian street

Blasphemy accusation draws mob to Pakistan town’s only Christian street
As horrific details emerge of a young Muslim artist being tortured to death for alleged blasphemy, separately a young Christian man has been charged with blaspheming against Islam’s prophet, a crime punishable with death in Pakistan. Farhan Aziz, 26, from Muslim Town in Gujranwala district, about 100 kilometres from Lahore, . . . Read More