Thursday, January 20, 2011

'In-Prison' Appeals Hearing Request by Asia Bibi's Lawyers

Today, the Christian Post reported:
Legal representatives of Asia Bibi have requested that the hearing of her appeal take place within prison walls, fearing the possibility of a summary execution if she were to make an appearance in the High Court of Lahore....

Haroon Masih, the director of Masihi Foundation, labeled Bibi’s presence in the courtroom of Lahore as “highly ill-advised,” reported Fides News Agency.

“It would expose her to shooting by radicals, as happened to the brothers Rashid and Sajid Emmanuel, accused of blasphemy and murdered during the trial before the court in July 2010 in Faisalabad,” he warned.
Director Haroon Masih warned that “even this transfer implies grave dangers for her safety.”

“Given recent events, we do not trust highly in the security services offered by the State, composed of Muslim men,” he told Fides news. “The terrorists may strike at every opportunity, or infiltrate the guards that should be protecting her.” ...

“We must do everything we can to protect Asia's life,” Masih urged. “We hope that, given the national and international mobilization, Asia will soon regain her freedom, given her innocence.”

Regardless of whether the request is approved, Masihi Foundation, the only organization offering legal assistance to Bibi, intends to arrange a private convoy for her if it becomes necessary to leave the compound of her prison cell.

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