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Christian Woman Sentenced to Hanging for Blasphemy

Asia Bibi, the first woman to get the death sentence under Pakistan's blasphemy law, was charged with insulting Muhammad.

Blasphemy laws in Pakistan legislate against "wounding the religious feelings of any person," specifically regarding Islam. In 1992, the death penalty became mandatory upon conviction on blasphemy charges. So far no one has been executed under the blasphemy law, but others have languished in prison for up to 14 years without a trial. Up to 10 others have been murdered while under investigation.

This week, Asia Bibi, a 45-year-old mother of five from the Punjab Province, became the first woman ever sentenced to death under Pakistan's blasphemy law. Bibi has already been imprisoned for over a year. Pakistani officials make arrests based on a blasphemy complaint, and suspects are held during the investigation.

The police complaint against her said she called the Qur'an "fake" and made comments about one of Muhammad's wives and his declining health late in life. The incident under investigation happened when Bibi, a farm worker, brought water to her fellow female workers. Apparently, the Muslim ...

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