Christian woman on death row in Pakistan for insulting Prophet Muhammad to make final court appeal

By Alex Matthews-King

Christian woman sentenced to death in Pakistan for insulting the Prophet Muhammad will have her final appeal heard by the Supreme Court on Monday, her lawyer has said.

Asia Bibi has spent nine years in prison after being accused of contravening the country’s strict blasphemy laws following a dispute in June 2009.

The case has drawn international attention to Pakistan’s treatment of its religious minorities and Ms Bibi’s supporters, including Pope Benedict XVI, who called for the charges to be dismissed, saying she is being persecuted for her faith.

Ms Bibi has already received one stay of execution from the Supreme Court, in 2015, after lower courts rejected the appeals.

If her appeal fails the mother of five, from the rural village of Ittan Wali, Punjab, will become the first woman to be executed for blasphemy in Pakistan.

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