The Catholic Universe

OTHER NEWS

As Covid-19 cases increase, Kenyans flee cities, seeking safety

As the coronavirus cases rise in Kenya, many city residents are fleeing to their rural homes, despite a warning from clerics and government officials. Weeks after Covid-19 was first reported, panicking Kenyans - including Catholics - left cities and towns and...

Stranded migrants, lack of food: in Indian lockdown, poor suffer

The three-week Covid-19 lockdown of India's 1.37 billion people has stranded millions of domestic migrant workers and left people scrambling for food and other basics amid the ensuing harsh and often violent crackdown by police. "Especially when I look at my poor...

Pope joins UN call for immediate global cease-fire

Saying conflicts can never be resolved with war, Pope Francis added his support to a UN appeal for a global cease-fire amid the worldwide threat of the Covid-19 pandemic. "May our joint effort against the pandemic lead everyone to recognise our need to strengthen our...

MPs urge prime minister to order review of Bibi blasphemy case

A letter signed by more than 50 MPs from Westminster has accused the Pakistani Government of allowing a major miscarriage of justice to go unchallenged, and urged that a major case review be carried out into the case of Asia Bibi.
Asia Bibi, a Christian mother of five, was sentenced to death by a Pakistan court for blasphemy after a hearing that outside observers said was riddled with mistakes and anti-Christian bias.
In their letter to the country’s Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif, and the Chief Justice, Nasir-Ul-Mulk, the British MPs voice their misgivings over the handling of the original case, the verdict and the subsequent appeal: “We feel strongly that a miscarriage of justice has taken place; that Asia Bibi has been falsely implicated and that the evidence used in her case has been fabricated.
“Asia Bibi has now languished in a prison cell for more than four years, with her case adjourned on multiple occasions, and where even the accusers failed to appear in court.”
The letter was drawn up by MP Rehman Chishti, who has campaigned for the UK to use its influence in Pakistan to secure a case review. “We would urge that this case is heard by the Supreme Court on an urgent basis, taking into account that Asia has already spent four years in custody.
The case should be heard by the full bench of the Supreme Court headed by the Chief Justice, taking into account the international concerns about this case, as it affects the credibility of Pakistan’s judiciary.
“As friends of Pakistan, we feel this miscarriage of justice is tarnishing Pakistan’s international reputation and we urge you to review this case as a matter of urgency.
“The international community is shocked and saddened at the unfairness of this decision and the treatment that Asia has received under Pakistan’s justice system.
“We feel that this clear miscarriage of justice undermines Pakistan’s GSP Plus status, which expects countries to respect citizens’ basic human rights and religious freedoms.”
Mr Chishti, the Conservative member for Gillingham and Rainham, has raised the issue in the House of Commons, urging Prime Minister David Cameron to use his influence with the Pakistan authorities to secure a full case review.
In his reply Mr Cameron told the House that “we have been pushing the Pakistan Government to amend the blasphemy laws, and I will be speaking to [the Pakistani] Prime Minister.”
Speaking after the debate Chishti said: “The way Asia Bibi has been treated has made a travesty of the justice system and I hope that with this letter, signed by more than 50 MPs, the Pakistan Prime Minister will urgently review this case.”
The MPs backing the letter were drawn from across the political spectrum, and included Mark Durkan, Damian Green and Jim Shannon.

Share

OTHER NEWS

As Covid-19 cases increase, Kenyans flee cities, seeking safety

As the coronavirus cases rise in Kenya, many city residents are fleeing to their rural homes, despite a warning from clerics and government officials. Weeks after Covid-19 was first reported, panicking Kenyans - including Catholics - left cities and towns and...

Stranded migrants, lack of food: in Indian lockdown, poor suffer

The three-week Covid-19 lockdown of India's 1.37 billion people has stranded millions of domestic migrant workers and left people scrambling for food and other basics amid the ensuing harsh and often violent crackdown by police. "Especially when I look at my poor...

Pope joins UN call for immediate global cease-fire

Saying conflicts can never be resolved with war, Pope Francis added his support to a UN appeal for a global cease-fire amid the worldwide threat of the Covid-19 pandemic. "May our joint effort against the pandemic lead everyone to recognise our need to strengthen our...