Islamabad: In a landmark verdict, Pakistan’s Supreme Court on Wednesday overturned the conviction of a Christian woman facing execution for blasphemy.
Asia Bibi was convicted in 2010 after being accused of insulting Islam in a row with her neighbours. She always maintained her innocence, but has spent most of the past eight years in solitary confinement. Her case has been deeply divisive in Pakistan where there is strong support for the blasphemy laws.
The apex court, in a three-member bench led by chief justice Saqib Nisar, issued the verdict on Wednesday morning, three weeks after they had reached a decision.
The delay followed threats by blasphemy campaigners to hold protests. “Her conviction is set aside and she is to be relieved forthwith if not required in other charges,” said Nisar, reading out the judgment.