Christian Woman in Pakistan – level 3
Police arrested Asia Bibi in 2009 in Pakistan after people accused her of blasphemy following a quarrel with two fellow female farm workers who refused to drink from a water container used by a Christian.
A few days later, a mob accused her of insulting Islam’s Prophet which led to her conviction in 2010. The court charged her with blasphemy and sentenced to death.
After spending eight years on death row, the court acquitted her. The court’s decision sparked a protest – hundreds of people marched in the streets. One of the protesters, the president of Jamaat-e-Islami (a socially conservative Islamist political party) said that there was pressure from Britain, America and the Pakistani government, but this was the matter of the honour of their beloved Prophet.
On the other hand, Tahira Abdullah, a human rights activist, said that the Supreme Court of Pakistan rendered an excellent judgement which will set precedent for decades or even centuries to come in the judicial history of Pakistan.
Mrs Bibi now plans to leave the country.
Difficult words: blasphemy (speaking badly about God), quarrel (an angry argument), mob (a group of ordinary and angry people), acquit (free), spark (start), render (deliver, give), precedent (a court’s decision which is usually followed in similar cases).
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