A Pakistani court upheld the death penalty on Thursday against a Christian woman accused of blasphemy, her lawyer said, in a case that drew global headlines after two prominent politicians who tried to help her were assassinated.
In 2010, Asia Bibi, a mother of four, became the first woman to be sentenced to death under Pakistan’s controversial blasphemy law.
She is alleged to have made derogatory remarks about Islam after neighbours objected to her drinking water from their glass because she was not Muslim.
Bibi’s lawyer, Naeem Shakir, said his client had been involved in a dispute with her neighbours and that her accusers had contradicted themselves.
Two witnesses allegedly involved in the incident did not appear in court, he said. A prayer leader did appear, saying he did not witness the original altercation, but that Bibi had confessed in front of him.
“I was expecting the opposite decision,” Shakir said. “We will file an appeal to the Supreme Court of Pakistan in a few days.”
But Gulam Mustafa, the lawyer for the complainant, said the court’s decision was correct.
“Asia’s lawyer tried to prove that the case was registered on a personal enmity but he failed to prove that,” he said.