Younus, Asia Bibi’s sister-in-law, a Christian woman convicted of blasphemy by a Pakistani court, was killed in the city of Sheikhupura in Pakistan’s Punjab province on Monday. Younus is also a Christian. Minorities in Pakistan are treated like dirt.
According to the FIR, Younus went to his farm on May 24 and did not return home at night. His body with his throat cut was traced to the farm the next morning.
Local sources in Pakistan say that since Younus is from a minority Christian community he will definitely be killed. This is not the first time someone related to Asia Bibi was killed in cold blood.
In 2011, Salman Taseer, the influential governor of Punjab was killed after he made headlines by pleading for Asia’s aunt forgiveness, who had been sentenced to death for allegedly insulting the Prophet Muhammad. A month after Taseer was killed, Minister of Religious Minority Shahbaz Bhatti, a Christian who spoke out against the law, was shot dead in Islamabad underlining the threats faced by legal critics.
Asia Bibi is now living in exile after Pakistan’s Supreme Court acquitted her based on inadequate evidence presented earlier in October 2018. Recounting the inhumane cruel conditions of eight years spent on death sentence for blasphemy and fears of exile, Asia Bibi recently broke her silence to give her first personal insight into an ordeal that caused international outrage.
French journalist Anne-Isabelle Tollet, who has co-authored a book about him, was once based in the country where she led a support campaign for her. “You already know my story through the media,” he said in the book. “But you are far from understanding my daily life in prison or my new life,” he said. “I am a prisoner of fanaticism,” he said. In prison, “tears are the only friends in the cell.”
Asia Bibi described the terrible conditions in the slums in Pakistan where she was detained and ridiculed by other detainees. Pakistan’s blasphemy law carries the death penalty for anyone who insults Islam. This dubious blasphemy law has been used to persecute minority religions and unfairly target minorities.
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan Niazi defended strict blasphemy laws during his election campaign. The status quo still exists. No government in Pakistan is ready to make changes to the blasphemy law because of fears of a backlash from radical Wahhabi Islamic groups.
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