'Justice has been done': Pakistan's Christians laud acquittal of blasphemy accused

Supreme Court of Pakistan acquitted Aasiya Bibi from blasphemy case

Pakistan's Supreme Court on Wednesday freed a Christian woman from a death sentence for blasphemy against Islam and overturned her conviction, sparking angry protests and death threats from an ultra-religious party and cheers from human rights advocates. Bibi had appealed against the Lahore High Court's order that in 2014 upheld the death sentence given earlier by a trial court. Thanks to Jesus Christ that she is acquitted. She had moved the Supreme Court against her conviction.

Bibi's lawyer on Wednesday called the court ruling "great news" for Pakistan. 30 AM, the court announced that they have acquitted Asia of all charges, demanding her immediate release.

A Christian woman in Pakistan on death row for almost a decade after she allegedly contaminated a water jug - an offense viewed as blasphemy in the Muslim country - was acquitted by the country's top court on Wednesday.

She was accused of making insulting remarks about Islam after her Muslim neighbours objected to her drinking water from their glass because she was Christian.

Asia Bibi was arrested in 2009 and convicted in 2010 under section 295-C of Pakistan's penal code that punishes blasphemy against the Prophet Muhammad with the death penalty.

She was later beaten up at her home, during which her accusers say she confessed to blasphemy.

Insulting Islams prophet is punishable by death under Pakistani law, and blasphemy accusations stir such emotions that they are nearly impossible to defend against.

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Ms Bibi's case rose to infamy after a regional governor, Salman Taseer, who appealed for leniency for her was murdered in a public square in the capital by his own bodyguard.

The women said her faith had made a cup she used unclean and she should convert to Islam.

Leading rights groups welcomed the decision even as religious extremists launched protests across the country and swarmed the streets in Islamabad, Lahore and Karachi closing down key roads.

The apex court stayed her execution and began her trial, which attracted protests and demonstrations from Islamist parties in the run-up to the verdict.

Her case drew the attention of worldwide rights groups and swiftly became the most high-profile in the country.

The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, a government body, praised the decision to overturn the sentence, saying the case "illustrates the extent to which blasphemy laws can be exploited to target minority communities".

A cabinet minister of former premier Shahid Khaqan Abbasi had to step down last November for overseeing changes to a reference to the prophet Muhammad in a lawmakers' oath after members of Tehreek-e-Labaik Pakistan, Rizvi's party, blocked a main highway to Islamabad for several weeks. However, officials had yet to say if there was any security arrangements for her protection or if she was planning to leave Pakistan.

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