ISLAMABAD: Asia Bibi, the main accused in Pakistan infamous blasphemy case has been granted a fresh chance to escape the gallows after the Supreme Court of Pakistan confirmed on Friday that it would hear an appeal against her execution next week.
Bibi, a Christian mother of five, has been on a death row since 2010.
“The Supreme Court of Pakistan under the chair of Justice Saqib Nisar will hear Asia Bibi’s appeal against her death sentence on Thursday, October 13 in the Supreme Court of Pakistan, Islamabad,” her lawyer Saif-ul-Mulook said.\
The court confirmed on Friday that the date had been set.
Bibi was convicted and sentenced to hang in the year 2010 after an alleged argument with a Muslim woman over a bowl of water.
Her supporters maintain her innocence and insist it was a personal dispute.
Supporters of Mumtaz Qadri, who assassinated provincial governor Salman Taseer after he advocated for Bibi in 2011, regularly call for her hanging.
A decision by the court in her favour would “send a powerful message to the world that Pakistan respects the rule of law and not the mob,” Mustafa Qadri, an expert on human rights in South Asia told AFP.
He also predicted that supporters of the assassin Qadri would react violently to such a decision. The Islamist was hung earlier this year, bringing hardliners into the streets chanting slogans against Bibi, although they dispersed after several days.