Full text of Supreme Court’s judgement in Aasia Bibi case

Full text of Supreme Court’s judgement in Aasia Bibi case

Pakistan's Supreme Court is due on Wednesday to rule on the final appeal by a Christian woman sentenced to death by hanging over blasphemy allegations, a case that has drawn global attention and condemnation.

Pakistani Christian woman Asia Bibi at a prison in Sheikhupura near Lahore, Pakistan, on November 20, 2010.

She has also been a target for hardline Islamists in Pakistan, who have vowed to retaliate if she's released.

Supporters of a Pakistani religious group chant slogans while blocking the main road at a protest after a court decision, in Karachi, Pakistan.

Her legal team celebrated the court's decision amid beefed-up security in Islamabad.

Later, two women refused to drink from the container she had touched because she was not Muslim. The two Muslim women who pressed charges against Bibi denied they quarreled with her, saying her outbursts against Islam were unprovoked. Asia Bibi responded with disbelief while talking to APF.

Asia Bibi, a Christian woman, was acquitted on Wednesday after being sentenced to death on blasphemy charges in 2010. "We knew that she is innocent". She was arrested after a police investigation.

She was later beaten up in her home, during which she allegedly confessed.

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The ruling heavily referenced the Koran and Islamic history.

They alleged Ms Bibi's response included three offensive comments about the Prophet Muhammad. Public support for the strict blasphemy laws is strong.

"The message must go out that the blasphemy laws will no longer be used to persecute the country's most vulnerable minorities", he said.

No-one has ever been executed, but some people accused of the offence have been lynched or murdered.

The Vatican had also appealed and called for the release of Ms Bibi, and Pope Francis met with her husband, Ashiq Masih, and daughter earlier this year.

This case took life of a former sitting Governor of Punjab Province Salman Taseer when he was killed by his bodyguard on January 4, 2011at Kohsar Market of Islamabad for supporting the release of Asia Bibi. This verdict has incited protests nationwide, and so we can only hope the next few days pass by peacefully and without any major incident. Later, the guard, Mumtaz Qadri, was hanged for the assassination - a move that infuriated supporters of firebrand Muslim cleric Khadim Hussain Rizvi, who launched a violent drive to block any possible changes in the law.

Many in conservative Pakistan hailed him as a martyr - he was showered with rose petals whenever he was brought to court and now has a mausoleum in the capital where hundreds visit every week.

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