Asia Bibi facing threat of suicide attack

Asia Bibi is facing a threat of a suicide attack inside a jail, where she is currently lodged.

Last Updated: Jan 06, 2011, 18:11 PM IST

Islamabad: Asia Bibi, the Christian woman
who triggered a blasphemy furore in Pakistan and in whose
defence Punjab Governor Salman Taseer lost his life, is
facing a threat of a suicide attack inside a jail, where she
is currently lodged.

The "Moaviya group", a militant organisation plans to
mount a suicide attack on Sheikhupura district jail, where
45-year-old Asia is being held, The Express Tribune quoted its
sources as saying. An intelligence report issued last week has
corroborated threat to her life.

Punjab police and jail authorities subsequently beefed
up security due to the intelligence report and the
assassination of Taseer.

Asia Bibi was sentenced to death last year after being
convicted under the blasphemy law for insulting Prophet
Mohammed. She denied the charge and said she was framed by a
group of Muslim women with whom she had a row.

Taseer, who backed a call for Asia Bibi to be
pardoned, was gunned down in Islamabad on Tuesday by a police
guard who said he was angered by the Governor`s criticism of
the blasphemy law.

According to official figures, 131 people are being
held in jails across Punjab on blasphemy charges.
Eleven of them have been sentenced to death, including
Asia Bibi, who was the first woman to be given the penalty.

Though no one has been executed after being convicted
under the controversial law, 35 people, including Taseer, who
were accused of committing blasphemy or defending those
charged with blasphemy have been killed between 1990 and 2011.

They were either victims of extra-judicial killings or
found dead in prison in suspicious circumstances.

PTI