Christian leaders in Pakistan have been death-threatened for holding a prayer and candle light Vigil for the freedom of Asia Bibi

October 17, 2016, Unidentified masked men riding on motorbikes stopped Sooba Bhatti Advocate, Bishop Younus Gill and two other Christian leaders on gunpoint when they were coming out of Hari Camp Kotri District Jamshoro after holding prayers and Candle vigil for safety and release of Asia Bibi, a Christian mother of five, waiting for her appeal in Supreme Court of Pakistan which was postponed on October 13, 2016, hearing on stepping down of one justice of Three Judges Bench of SCP.

The gunmen threatened Sooba Bhatti Advocate and Bishop Younus Gill to stop holding rallies and campaign for release of Asia Bibi or to face consequences. The masked men said that they know their family members and addresses that might be punished if they not ended their activities against Islamic teaching as Sharia Law is clear to kill blasphemer Asia Bibi.

As masked men fled on approaching of other people on road, Sooba Bhatti Advocate and Bishop Gill reported it in area Police Station and registration of First Information Report FIR to arrest culprits but up to filing of this news none was arrested nor police registered case on application of victims.

Related: Pakistan: Supreme Court Adjourns Asia Bibi Death Row Appeal

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According to an earlier press release by Sooba Bhatti Advocate on incident of armed masked men threats said “A prayer and candle light vigil was held for Asia Bibi for her Freedom. This event was organized by the Society for Human Awareness, Development & Empowerment (SHADE) and United Baptist Church of Pakistan (Hyderabad) on 16 October at Hari camp Kotri District Jamshoro. Christians from every walk of life participated in the vigil to honor the steadfastness of the Christian respondent who has been on death row since 2010. Participants included prominent Christian lawyer and activist Advocate Sooba Bhatti, Director SHADE- Pak , Bishop Younus Gul , women , Children and old men were there. Collective prayers were offered for the blasphemy convict while the participants prayed for God’s grace during her hearing. Bishop Younus Gull prayed that may the SC acquit Asia Bibi and she finds freedom after years of ordeal. After offering prayers, they sang songs for Asia Bibi as the urged for her release. “Participants were hopeful that, God will show His miracles as they prayed for the judges, courts, advocates and all supporters of Asia Bibi,” .

“Advocate Sooba Bhatti called upon the Chief Justice of Pakistan and Prime Minster of Pakistan to take note of Asia Bibi’s quandary. He demanded that the blasphemy laws should be abolished or at least the death penalty must be cancelled. He narrated the story of Asia Bibi. He maintained that she has been entangled in a fabricated case of blasphemy as he was certain that the allegation brought against her had no firm grounds. “She was kept behind the bars in Sheikhupura, later was shifted to Multan Jail,’ he told the audience” said press release

“I urge Prime Minister, President of Pakistan and Chief Justice of Pakistan to exercise their right to pardon the prisoners on death sentence and bestow pardon upon down trodden Asia Bibi, and order for her immediate release and acquittal. We are hopeful that you will spare some of your valuable time and consider my appeal and take action in order to free an innocent woman,” he stated.

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