PAKISTANI CHRISTIAN CONDEMNED FOR BLASPHEMY TELLS HER STORY

Asia Bibi Collaborates With French Journalist

LISBON, Portugal, SEPT. 7, 2011 (Zenit.org).- A Pakistani Christian woman accused of blaspheming Mohammed and condemned to death has collaborated with a French journalist to tell her story.

The plight of Asia Bibi has brought international attention, with even Benedict XVI speaking out on her behalf.

With journalist Anne Isabelle Tollet, Bibi has authored “Blasphème” (Blasphemy), which was released today in Lisbon.

The Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need, which collaborated in the publication, described the book as “an impressive account of this Pakistani who for two years has awaited the order to be hanged, simply for having dared to share a glass of water with other women.”

The anti-blasphemy laws in Pakistan are recognized by human rights groups as a way to repress minorities. In fact, two Pakistani officials who had spoken out against the laws were both murdered.

One of them was Shahbaz Bhatti, the minister for minorities killed March 2. Arrest warrants have been issued for two suspects in his death, though it is reported the suspects have fled to Dubai.

Retired Archbishop Lawrence Saldanha of Lahore, Pakistan, told Fides that the arrest warrants are “a step in the right direction.”

“We welcome this news and hope that the real offenders are captured and punished in keeping with the law,” he said. The archbishop reflected that an arrest and trial “would be an important sign for the protection of minorities and Christians in the country.”

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