Thursday, January 13, 2011

Asia Bibi facing threat of suicide attack

Officials are concerned there may
be a suicide attack on the prison
where Asia Bibi is being held.
Asia Bibi, the Christian woman who triggered a blasphemy furor in Pakistan and in whose defence Punjab province Governor Salman Taseer lost his life, is facing a threat of a suicide attack inside a jail, where she is currently lodged, reported ASSIST News Service on Tuesday.

According to a story by Z News, a militant organization known as the “Moaviya group” plans to mount a suicide attack on Sheikhupura district jail, where Asia is being held. An intelligence report issued last week has corroborated threat to her life.

Punjab police and jail authorities have reportedly beefed up security due to the intelligence report and the assassination of Taseer.

The Z News story said that 131 people are being held in jails across Punjab on blasphemy charges. Eleven of them have been sentenced to death, including Asia, who is the first woman to be given the penalty.

“Though no one has been executed after being convicted under the controversial law, 35 people, including Taseer, who were accused of committing blasphemy or defending those charged with blasphemy have been killed between 1990 and 2011,” said Z News. “They were either victims of extra-judicial killings or found dead in prison in suspicious circumstances.”

Last week, we told you that Asia’s family has been receiving threats from anonymous callers. Her husband Ashiq Masih insists that his wife is innocent and will be freed, but he worries about what will happen if she is released. "When she comes out, how she can live safely?" he asks. "No one will let her live. The mullahs are saying they will kill her when she comes out."

Please pray the Lord will protect and provide for Ashiq Masih and his children. May the entire family know the Lord's strengthening presence. Pray the Lord will use Asia's situation to bring about change in Pakistan for His glory. Pray for her release.

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