November 25th, 2010
10:47 AM ET

Pakistani minister: Christian woman should be freed

A Christian Pakistani woman sentenced to death for blasphemy is innocent and should be released, Pakistan's minister for minority affairs told CNN.

Shahbaz Bhatti reached his conclusion after a three-day investigation into allegations that Bibi defiled the name of the Prophet Mohammed during an argument last year with Muslim fellow field workers.

Bhatti said he personally submitted his finding to President Asif Ali Zardari on Thursday and recommended Bibi be freed.

"This case was filed on the basis of religious and personal enmity," Bhatti said.

Despite the minister's recommendation, it is still not clear if or when Bibi will be pardoned by the president.

On Wednesday, a presidential spokesman and spokeswoman told CNN Zardari will pardon Bibi only if necessary and after the legal process has taken its course.

Bibi has appealed her conviction and death sentence, a process that could take months.

Bhatti said he has advised Bibi's lawyer to file a petition for the court to rule on her appeal as soon as possible.

He also said the president has called on authorities to provide added security for Bibi while she is inside prison and when she's released.

Bibi's husband told CNN his family received death threats soon after his wife's case made headlines.

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Filed under: Christian • Pakistan • Religion
soundoff (4 Responses)
  1. taliban


    November 26, 2010 at 4:30 am | Report abuse |
  2. respect

    The law in that country needs to change. What ever happen to freedom of speech

    November 26, 2010 at 5:04 am | Report abuse |
  3. malsikcuf

    It is sheer barbarism and inhumane for a country to impose a death penalty on someone for blasphemy. No religion except Islam impose such a inhumane rule. Surely it is contradictory for a religion which preaches peace and compassion to practice such out dated and inhumane law.

    November 27, 2010 at 10:08 am | Report abuse |
  4. cberlioz

    "The law is the law" what a statement... to be remembered as one of the worse statements of human existance and evolution/intelligence. What is the matter with this people... can't they see their totalitarian ways are making them omnipotent... that is what this religion is all about... "Islam" total power by means of spreading fear to society or ELSE! Noone has the right to kill No One... if so... society should start doing the same with this idiot lawmakers... so they don't creat such abominable laws... an eye for an eye?... moving backwards instead of forward.... What is this world comming to! Barbaric.

    November 29, 2010 at 5:48 pm | Report abuse |