What Asia Bibi is up against in Pakistan

Asia Bibi, the Christian woman in Pakistan convicted of blasphemy against Muhammad and sentenced to death, has an appeal hearing this week. However, don't expect the legal profession as an institution to help her or push for human rights. This article in Pakistan's The Nation, quotes the President of Pakistan's Supreme Court Bar Association, Asma Jahangir, who urges no change in the blasphemy laws and no help for Asia Bibi.The Bar committee, also attended by the vice president of the … [Read more...]

NPR on Uganda

This morning Barbara Bradley Hagerty has a Morning Edition spot on Uganda reminding us that the Rolling Stone case may be decided this week.In October, a tabloid called Rolling Stone — no relation to the American magazine — published an article headlined "100 Pictures of Uganda's Top Homos Leak." The article listed names, addresses and hangouts of gay men and lesbians.Frank Mugisha saw his photo. Then he noticed the subhead: "Hang them.""I was shaken up. I was freaked out. I was sca … [Read more...]

Uganda: Committee Chair describes Anti-Homosexuality Bill timetable

This morning I spoke with Stephen Tashobya, the chair of the Ugandan Parliament's Legal and Affairs committee. This committee has jurisdiction over the Anti-Homosexuality Bill. I asked Hon. Tashobya if he had any current plan for action on the AHB. He told me that the Parliament was currently preoccupied with the upcoming Christmas break and then the elections. About the AHB, he said, "So I suppose I can say it will come up after elections which is the 18th of February."He said he did not … [Read more...]

SPLC myth #4: Homosexuals don’t live nearly as long as heterosexuals

As anticipated, the groups identified by the Southern Poverty Law Center as "hate groups" have reacted with defensive distraction. Instead of responding directly to the charges made by the SPLC, they have organized a significant effort to change the subject. Called Start Debating/Stop Hating, the website   consists of endorsements from some prominent conservative activists, politicians and ministers. The website also asks visitors to sign a petition which reads:"We, the undersigned, stand in so … [Read more...]

British politician will spend Christmas in Pakistan with Asia Bibi

I admire Raza Anjum for putting himself on the line on behalf of Pakistan Christian, Asia Bibi. Bibi, convicted in Pakistan of violating the nation's blasphemy law, has become the subject of an international effort to see her pardoned and freed from prison. According to Politics.co.uk, Anjum...arrived in Pakistan at the end of last week and has since been organising meetings with senior officials including the prime minister Yousaf Raza Gillani.Mr Anjum, who represents the small market … [Read more...]

Buturo censors human rights documentary

In Uganda, Nsaba Buturo is serving out his term as Minister of Ethics and Integrity. He lost his bid for re-election and will presumably not be back in that role. However, even as a lame duck, he is making waves. According to the Monitor:Human rights defenders yesterday gathered in Kampala to voice their distress following Monday’s incident where Ethics minister blocked the viewing of a movie chronicling their experiences.Led by Uganda Human Rights Commission (UHRC) chairperson Medi K … [Read more...]

Sign the petition to free Asia Bibi

Please sign this petition targeting the Ambassador to the United States from Pakistan, along with Pakistan's Human Rights Minister.Writing in 1954, psychologist Gordon Allport said, “The role of religion is paradoxical. It makes prejudice and it unmakes prejudice.” In no case is Allport’s observation better illustrated than in the tragic situation of Asia Noreen Bibi. On Monday, NPR’s Julie McCarthy chronicled the story of Bibi, a 45 year-old, Christian mother of five who is now in a Pakistani … [Read more...]

Free Asia Bibi

This from NPR:It began in the summer of 2009 as a quarrel over water in a sweltering farm field in the province of Punjab. When the heated words were over, Asia Noreen Bibi was charged under the strict blasphemy laws of predominantly Muslim Pakistan.A Christian wife and mother, the woman commonly known as Asia Bibi was convicted by a district court last month of blaspheming the Prophet Muhammad. The punishment is mandatory death and Asia Bibi became the first female in Pakistan to be … [Read more...]


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