As a Christian mother of five sits on death row in Pakistan accused of insulting Islam's prophet Muhammad, new controversies are brewing over her case.
Asia Bibi (referred to in some reports as Aasia Noreen) was jailed in 2009 after a dispute with local Muslim women who later accused her of insulting Muhammad, an offense punishable by death under Pakistani law. Although she denied any wrongdoing, she was convicted a year later and sentenced to death. While Bibi waits for her appeal to be heard in court, an NGO claiming to represent her is trading accusations with her husband Ashiq.
The Masihi Foundation, which describes itself as a humanitarian organization and claims to be Bibi's legal counsel, published what it said was an interview with Bibi from her Pakistani prison, where it claimed to have found her mistreated, in poor health and near mental illness.
But The Express Tribune in Pakistan, an affiliate of the International Herald Tribune, reported that Shahid Khan, home secretary of the Punjab region where Bibi is imprisoned, gave no permission for such a visit, and officials at the jail where Bibi is being held denied the visit ever happened. Furthermore, Bibi's husband Ashiq told The Express Tribune that he saw Asia over Christmas and didn't notice any health problems.
"I asked Asia and she says no one met her," he said. "The Masihi Foundation is trying to earn money out of my wife's name. To read more, click here.
Wednesday, January 11, 2012
Jailed Pakistani mother's plight buffeted by money, media strife
Posted by Robin G. Jordan at 9:38 AM