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mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato
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» 01/07/2012
PAKISTAN
Lahore: death threats for Asia Bibi's lawyer and human rights activists
by Jibran Khan
Her lawyer has completed the request for appeal, but no specific details are provided in order to preserve their safety. Islamic extremist groups and leaders ready to target those fighting for her release. From Masihi Foundation thanks for the words of Pope Benedict XVI, a source of encouragement.

Lahore (AsiaNews) - Asia Bibi's lawyer and activists of the Masihi Foundation (MF), fighting for the freedom of the 45 year old Christian mother of five children, condemned to death for blasphemy, have received death threats. In recent days the legal team has prepared the application for appeal to be presented to the court, but specific details are not provided to safeguard the safety of the woman - in solitary confinement in Sheikpura prison (Punjab) - and the team committed to obtain her release. For some time now, in fact, a leading Islamic extremist group has put a bounty on Asia Bibi which also affects those taking her defence. Last year, the Governor of Punjab Salman Taseer and Minister for Minorities Shahbaz Bhatti Catholics were murdered precisely because they have demanded the release of Christian women and called for a revision of the infamous "Black Law".

The activists of the Mf of Lahore are asking "all people of good will," Christians and Muslims alike, to defend Asia Bibi because she is "innocent". They also point out that since 1986, when the rules on blasphemy were promulgated, the largest number of victims have been registered within the Muslim majority. Lawyers explain that the Asia Bibi case is a "misinterpretation" of the law and clarify that there are no positions "against" the community or faithful, but only the desire to save the lives of "innocent" people and respect ultimate good, human life. We respect Islam, they add, the Prophet Muhammad and all religions and "we hope that the case turns into a 'bridge' and a not a 'barrier' between Christians and Muslims."

S.K. Chaudry, Asia Bibi's lawyer, confirmed that the team of lawyers has prepared the application for appeal to the High Court, but also adds that "the primary objective" is the "protection" of the woman and her family. He also adds that he harbours "confidence" in Pakistan's legal system and that her innocence will be proven.

The leaders of the Masihi Foundation want to thank those working on the case, with dedication and commitment. A special thought, they add, should be addressed to Pope Benedict XVI who prays for the "human dignity and basic rights of each individual." The pope's words, they conclude, are a source of encouragement and an invitation to "full respect" for human dignity.

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See also
01/26/2011 PAKISTAN
Pakistani Christians: day of fasting and prayer for the release of Asia Bibi
by Jibran Khan
03/15/2012 PAKISTAN
Lahore: fear and angst among relatives of a woman arrested for blasphemy
by Jibran Khan
05/24/2011 PAKISTAN
After Bin Laden’s death, Asia Bibi’s prison security tightened
by Jibran Khan
11/08/2011 PAKISTAN
Asia Bibi “frail” yet “strong a year since she was sentenced to death for blasphemy
03/14/2012 PAKISTAN - UNITED NATIONS
Christian woman arrested for blasphemy as petition goes to UN on Asia Bibi's behalf

Editor's choices
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What Tayeb and Sisi said is big step towards a revolution in Islam
by Samir Khalil SamirThe grand imam of Al-Azhar slammed literalist interpretations of the Qur'an and the Sunnah, as fundamentalists and Islamic terrorists do. He supports the urgent need for Islam's reform, especially in terms of teaching lay people and clerics. He also calls for an end to mutual excommunication (takfir) between Sunnis and Shias. Egyptian President al-Sisi chose to fight the Islamic state group after it beheaded 21 Coptic Christians, whom he called "Egyptian citizens" with full rights.
SAUDI ARABIA - ISLAM
For head of Al-Azhar, religious education reform is needed to stop Islamic extremismFor Ahmed al-Tayeb, it is urgent to come up with new educational programmes to avoid "corrupt interpretations" of the Qur'an and Sunnah. Islamic terrorism undermines the unity of the Muslim world. He blames Mideast tensions on a "new global colonialism allied to world Zionism". a speech by the Saudi king is read at the conference.
HONG KONG - CHINA - VATICAN
It looks like someone is trying to shout us down
by Card. Joseph Zen Ze-kiunThe widespread optimism concerning the dialogue between the Holy See and China is largely groundless. Some Chinese bishops unable to speak freely are asked "leading" questions. The key issues remain unresolved, namely episcopal appointments and the fate of the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association. Benedict XVI's Letter to Chinese Catholics, also cited by Pope Francis, provides guidelines. No agreement is better than a bad agreement. What happened to Msgr. Cosma Shi Enxiang and Msgr. James Su Zhimin? Hong Kong's bishop emeritus, champion of religious freedom in China, delivers a vibrant reflection.

Dossier

by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
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