Thursday, October 6, 2016

Pakistan: Fear and faith for daughters of Christian woman on death row


Their fight has reached all the way to the Vatican, where Esham found herself face to face with Pope Francis in April last year as the head of Catholic church offered prayers for her mother.

Times of Ahmad | News Watch | UK Desk
Source/Credit: Inquirer.Net
By Agence France-Presse | October 02, 2016

LAHORE, Pakistan — Esham and her sister Esha live largely in seclusion: fears they will be mistreated because they are daughters of the accused in Pakistan’s most infamous blasphemy case make them reluctant to venture into the brimming streets of Lahore.

Their mother, Asia Bibi, has been on death row for six years in a case some have called a battle for Pakistan’s soul as the state walks a razor-sharp line between upholding human rights and appeasing populist hardliners.

The family have new hope of a reprieve — the Supreme Court has said it will hear an appeal for Bibi later this month.

Their fight has reached all the way to the Vatican, where Esham found herself face to face with Pope Francis in April last year as the head of Catholic church offered prayers for her mother.

“He gave me blessings and I can’t remember more,” the 18-year-old told AFP.

“I feel the Pope is praying for my mother and he will keep praying, and with his prayers my mother will be freed.”

The allegations against Bibi date back to June 2009, when she was laboring in a field and a row broke out with some Muslim women she was working with.

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