Pak minister calls for "re-investigation, fair trial" of blasphemy accused Christian woman

Lahore, Nov 19 (ANI): Pakistan's Minister for Minority Affairs has called for a thorough re-investigation and fair appeal for a Christian mother sentenced to death for blasphemy, after the Pope called for her release.

"We have requested the Punjab government that the trial should be fair in the high court. She must also be provided security in jail," the Dawn quoted Shahbaz Bhatti, as saying.

Asia's supporters claim that the case is baseless, and that her first trial "was not heard properly," Bhatti said, adding, "We have, therefore, asked the Punjab government that the case be reinvestigated properly."

On November 8, Asia Bibi was sentenced to death in Pakistan's central province Punjab after being accused of insulting the Prophet Mohammed in 2009.

Earlier this week, Pope Benedict XVI had called for her release, and said that Christians in Pakistan were "often victims of violence and discrimination."

It is noteworthy that only around three per cent of Pakistan's population of 167 million is estimated to be non-Muslim. (ANI)

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