Originally published in Persecution.org
Pakistan’s Supreme Court has announced that it will hear arguments regarding a petition to review Asia Bibi’s acquittal on Tuesday January 29.
The news has left many Pakistani Christians worried that the court will give into pressure from extremists calling for Bibi to be executed.
The three-judge bench, now headed by Chief Justice Asif Saeed Khosa, will decide whether or not Bibi’s acquittal can be reviewed. If a review is allowed, many Pakistani Christians will claim the Supreme Court gave into pressure by extremists.
On October 31 last year the Supreme Court acquitted Bibi of the blasphemy charges that had kept her on death row for almost a decade. Following the announcement of the acquittal, extremists in Pakistan took to the streets in protest. The protestors demanded the court reverse its decision and confirm Bibi’s execution.
At this time, Qari Muhammad Salam filed a petition with the Supreme Court requesting the acquittal be reviewed.
The blasphemy accusation against Bibi is based on flimsy evidence following a dispute that took place in June 2009 between Bibi and a group of Muslim coworkers with whom she had been harvesting berries in Sheikhupura. The Muslim coworkers became angry with Bibi when she, a Christian whom they considered unclean, drank water from the same water bowl as the Muslims. An argument between Bibi and the Muslim women ensued and later the Muslim coworkers reported to a local cleric that Bibi had blasphemed against the Prophet Muhammad.