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Pakistan’s top court has rejected a challenge to the acquittal of a Christian woman on blasphemy charges. The Supreme Court upheld its decision to overturn Asia Bibi’s conviction and death sentence.

She was originally convicted in 2010 after being accused of insulting the Prophet Mohammed in a row with her neighbours and spent eight years on death row. She has always maintained her innocence in a case that has polarised Pakistan.

The Supreme Court’s quashing of her sentence last October led to violent protests by religious hardliners who support strong blasphemy laws, while more liberal sections of society urged her release.

Hardliners had petitioned to overturn this ruling.

The three-judge panel of the country’s Supreme Court on Tuesday said the arguments of the lawyer acting on behalf of the petitioners did not satisfy the judges.

Bibi was held under house arrest at a secret place up until the hearing. Reports suggest she may be offered asylum in Canada.

There are 218 other Christians who currently face blasphemy charges.

Sources: BBC, CLAAS, Release International

  • Thank the Lord for this ruling, pray this may be the start of considerable change in assuring justice for minorities in Pakistan.
  • Ask the Lord to surround Asia with His continued protection as she starts a new life with her family.
  • Remember and intercede for those who currently face blasphemy charges in Pakistan.

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