Prime Minister of Pakistan

A Pakistani court has sentenced to death a Christian mother of five for blasphemy.

Aasia Bibi, 45, was sentenced on November 8, 2010 by a court in Nankana district in Punjab. She was arrested in Ittanwalai village and prosecuted under Section 295 C of the Pakistan Penal Code, and has been awarded the death penalty.

We, the undersigned, believe that Aasia Bibi, being a working class Christian woman, is one of the many victims of religious intolerance and sectarian hatred, which is protected and promoted by Pakistan's vicious and obscene Blasphemy law.

The Blasphemy Laws in the Pakistan Penal Code are rooted in the Indian Penal Code of 1860 and they were introduced through Sections 295-B and 295-C of the Pakistan Penal Code during the dictatorial regime of General Mohammad Zia-ul-Haq. The newly-introduced sections aimed to protect holy personages of only one religion, i.e. Islam, which is the state religion. Section 295-C which was added by an act of the parliament in 1986, and made it a criminal offence to use derogatory remarks in respect of the Holy Prophet (PBUH). Under Section 295-C, the offence was punishable with life imprisonment or death.

We, the citizens and friends of the people of Pakistan, demand to immediately repeal the capital punishment of Aasia Bibi, a Christian Woman, sentenced by a Session Court in Punjab under Blasphemy Law.

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