Protests in Pakistan Delay Release of Christian Woman مظاهرات الأصوليين في باكستان تؤجل اطلاق سراح المسيحية اسيا بيبي بعد تبرئتها من تهمة التجديف الملفقة لها

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A Pakistani supporter of the Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat (ASWJ), a hardline religious party, holds an image of Christian woman Asia Bibi during a protest rally following the Supreme Court's decision to acquit Bibi of blasphemy, in Islamabad on November 2, 2018. - Pakistan's powerful military warned November 2 its patience had been thoroughly tested after being threatened by Islamist hardliners enraged by the acquittal of a Christian woman for blasphemy, as the country braced for more mass protests. (Photo by AAMIR QURESHI / AFP)AAMIR QURESHI/AFP/Getty Images

مظاهرات باكستان مستمرة ضد تبرئة مسيحية متهمة بازدراء الأديان
العربي الجديد/إسلام آباد ــ صبغة الله صابر/02 تشرين الثاني/18

لليوم الثاني على التوالي، استمرت التظاهرات في مدن باكستان وأقاليمها، رفضاً لقرار المحكمة الباكستانية القاضي بتبرئة آسيا بيبي، المرأة المسيحية التي حُكم عليها بالإعدام سابقاً بتهمة ازدراء الأديان. وفيما تؤكد الحكومة عدم نيّتها استخدام القوة ضد المتظاهرين، تدعو الأحزاب الداعية للاحتجاج إلى الحوار لحلحلة القضية.
واليوم الخميس، تعطلت الحياة بشكل كامل في المدن الباكستانية، بعدما أغلق المتظاهرون الغاضبون الذين يصل عددهم إلى الآلاف في بعض المدن الطرقات الرئيسية، وأضرموا النيران في المحالّ التجارية والمكاتب الحكومية والسيارات. وقد أصيب عدد من المتظاهرين بجروح بعدما تصدّت لهم قوات الأمن بالغاز المسيل للدموع والهراوات، فيما عمدوا من جهتهم إلى استخدام الحجارة والعصيّ في وجه رجال الشرطة وقوات الأمن.
وعلى خلفية التظاهرات والاحتجاجات، أغلقت كل المدارس الحكومية والخاصة والمراكز التعليمية أبوابها، اليوم في العاصمة إسلام أباد وفي عدد من المدن الرئيسية. كذلك، أعلنت الحكومة إغلاق المدارس والمراكز التعليمية كافة في العاصمة غداً الجمعة، نظراً إلى التظاهرات المستمرة والدعوات التي وجهتها الأحزاب الدينية إلى مزيد من الاحتجاجات الشعبية.
وأعلنت الحكومة الباكستانية أنها اتخذت “كل الإجراءات اللازمة من أجل إحلال الأمن”، فأكد وزير الداخلية شهريار أفريدي أن “الحكومة لن تستخدم أيّ قوة ضد المتظاهرين”، موضحاً في أثناء تقديمه موجزاً عن جلسة البرلمان، أن “الحكومة تلتزم الصبر ولن تستعجل في القضاء على الاحتجاجات”. لكنه دعا الأحزاب التي تنظم التظاهرات إلى الحوار من أجل حلّ القضية. وهذا ما أكده القيادي في الحزب الحاكم برويز ختك في تصريحات صحافية.
لكن، بخلاف تلك التصريحات، بدأت شرطة العاصمة باستخدام القوة ضد المتظاهرين، وأطلقت مساء اليوم عملية لفتح الطرقات الرئيسية التي تربط العاصمة بالأقاليم، واستخدمت الغاز المسيل للدموع والهراوات والرصاص المطاطي في وجه المتظاهرين. وقد تمكنت الشرطة بالفعل، من فتح الطريق الذي يربط العاصمة بمدينة لاهور عاصمة إقليم البنجاب، غير أن الطرقات بمعظمها ما زالت مغلقة.
إلى جانب الاحتجاجات في مدن لاهور وبيشاور وكويته وكراتشي ومدن أخرى صغيرة، لليوم الثاني على التوالي، نظمت الأحزاب الدينية اعتصامات في عدد من المدن، أكبرها في مدينة لاهور بقيادة زعيم حركة “لبيك يا رسول الله” خادم حسين رضوي. وقال رضوي في خطاب له اليوم في لاهور: “أدعو الشعب كله إلى الخروج والاستمرار في الاحتجاجات”، مطالباً أنصاره بعدم تلبية الدعوات الحكومية. وبينما دعت الأحزاب الدينية إلى استمرار التظاهرات في كل المدن، دعا مجلس العمل الموحّد، وهو تحالف للأحزاب الدينية، إلى مسيرة مليونية في مدينة كراتشي (جنوب) غداً الجمعة. وكانت المحكمة الباكستانية قد قضت أمس الأربعاء، بإخلاء سبيل آسيا بيبي وإلغاء حكم الإعدام شنقاً الصادر بحقها، في قضية ازدراء الأديان. وجاء حكم الإعدام في عام 2010 لتصير المرأة الأولى التي يصدر في حقها مثل هذا الحكم، بموجب قوانين التجديف الصارمة في باكستان. يُذكر أنّ آسيا بيبي، وهي أم لأربعة أطفال، اعتقلت عام 2009 بناءً على مزاعم بالتجديف أثناء نقاش مع عاملتَين مسلمتَين.

Protests in Pakistan Delay Release of Christian Woman
مظاهرات الأصوليين في باكستان تؤجل اطلاق سراح المسيحية اسيا بيبي بعد تبرئتها من تهمة التجديف الملفقة لها
Associated Press/November 02/18
The release of a Christian woman in Pakistan who was acquitted eight years after being sentenced to death for blasphemy was apparently delayed Friday, after talks failed between the government and radical Islamists who want her publicly hanged.
Also, a lawyer representing a local cleric who had raised the initial blasphemy charges against Asia Bibi petitioned the Supreme Court on Thursday to reverse its acquittal.
The top court in a landmark decision on Wednesday overturned Bibi’s 2010 conviction of insulting Islam’s Prophet Muhammad.
Since then, Islamists have blocked highways and damaged or set-fire to dozens of vehicles to pressure the government to stop her release from an undisclosed detention facility.
Islamists were to hold nationwide rallies after Friday’s prayers, stoking fears violence. Pakistan shut down schools and colleges after radical cleric Khadim Hussain Rizvi, the leader of Tehreek-e-Labbaik party, announced that “talks” between his deputies and the government about Bibi’s fate had failed.
Before dawn Friday, Rizvi told an emotionally-charged rally in the eastern city of Lahore that one of the government negotiators threatened his deputies during the talks that security forces will ruthlessly kill them if they did not disperse peacefully. He asked his supporters to continue sit-ins as authorities summoned paramilitary troops to restore order.
“We are ready to die to show our love for the prophet,” he said.
Rizvi’s envoys had demanded that Bibi be barred from leaving the country but Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry rejected the demand, saying the government will not accept any dictates.
Ghulam Mustafa, a lawyer representing a provincial cleric in Punjab who had filed the initial blasphemy charges against Bibi, petitioned the Supreme Court, requesting the judges review her acquittal. The court has set not dates to take up the petition, but Bibi’s release could be further delayed by the process. Pakistan’s Supreme Court has not been known to reverse its decisions but court reviews typically take years.
Authorities say they have stepped up security near an undisclosed detention facility where Bibi is being held for her safety. On Thursday, prison officials said two inmates were arrested last month for planning to kill Bibi by strangling her. They said the men were still being questioned.
Bibi’s family had expected her release by Thursday night. Her husband, Ashiq Masih, returned from Britain with their children in mid-October and was waiting for her release so that they can fly out of Pakistan. Though the family has not disclosed the country of her destination, France and Spain have offered asylum.
Bibi’s acquittal has posed a challenge to the government of Pakistan’s new Prime Minister Imran Khan, who came to power this summer partly by pursuing the Islamist agenda.
Khan condemned the Islamists on Wednesday after cleric Afzal Qadri urged supporters to kill the three judges who acquitted Bibi, revolt against army chief Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa and overthrow Khan’s government.
Military’s spokesman Maj. Gen. Asif Ghafoor said Friday the army was exercising restraint, to give a chance for a peaceful resolution. He asked demonstrators to refrain from violence and await the outcome of the review petition to the Supreme Court.
“Let this legal process be completed first,” he told state-run Pakistan Television.
However, over 2,000 Islamists continued blocking a key road linking the capital, Islamabad, with the garrison city of Rawalpindi on Friday, causing traffic jams. Hundreds also blocked another key motorway, linking Islamabad with other major cities.
Bibi was arrested in 2009 after she was accused of blasphemy following a quarrel with two fellow female farm workers who refused to drink from a water container used by a Christian. A few days later, a mob accused her of insulting Islam’s prophet, leading to her 2010 conviction.
Bibi’s family has always maintained her innocence and says she never insulted the prophet.
Bibi’s case has drawn international attention and also put Pakistan’s controversial blasphemy laws into focus again. The charge of blasphemy carried the death penalty in this majority Muslim nation and critics say it is often used to settle feuds and arguments.

Asia Bibi: anti-blasphemy protests spread across Pakistan
The Guardian/November 02/18
Thousands of Islamist protesters have brought Pakistan to a standstill, burning rickshaws, cars and lorries to protest against the acquittal of a Christian woman who spent eight years on death row on false charges of blasphemy.
Traffic jams held up ambulances and forced mothers to feed their babies by the side of the road, while authorities shut schools across most of the country.
Footage from the protests shows anti-blasphemy campaigners clubbing and throwing shoes at posters of Pakistan’s chief justice and the new prime minister, Imran Khan, who on Wednesday night threatened a fierce government response if protesters did not disperse.
“We are ready to sacrifice our lives for this noble cause,” one told the Guardian, “and have rejected whatever rubbish the prime minister said in his speech”.
The landmark release of Asia Bibi, a 47-year-old farm labourer, has pitched the state into the latest of several battles with supporters of Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP), a rabid, fast-growing political party that exists solely to punish blasphemers. Asia was charged with insulting the prophet Muhammad after she drank from a cup of water before passing it to Muslim fruit-pickers.
Police have so far shied away from arresting protesters and the powerful armed forces, which often appear to align with Islamists, have yet to issue a statement, despite TLP leaders daring to call for mutiny in its ranks.
On Thursday, rightwing religious organisations, including Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JUD), a charity founded by UN-designated terrorist Hafiz Saeed, and the Jamaat-Ulema-e-Islam, announced that they would join the TLP protest on Friday, in what could become an unmanageable conflagration.
Asia Bibi: protests erupt in Pakistan after blasphemy conviction overturned – video
The new government of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) appeared to backtrack on Thursday evening, sending a five-member negotiating team to meet Khadim Hussain Rizvi, the leader of the TLP. Government officials released contradictory statements on whether they had placed Asia on the exit control list, which would prevent her fleeing the country.
In public speeches, Rizvi has said his only demand is that the mother-of-five be put to death, the punishment for blasphemy under Pakistan’s penal code. “Our sit-in will go on until the government accepts our demand,” he told the Guardian in a phone interview, denying reports that the sit-in would soon be over.
Imran Khan is scheduled to return on 5 November from a diplomatic visit to China, Pakistan’s oldest ally. Liberals hope that the prime minister, who echoed the TLP’s rhetoric on the campaign trail and has already backed down before the group, will stick to his newfound principles under the most severe test of a turbulent first 10 weeks in power.
“It’s up in the air,” said analyst Fasi Zaka. “You still get the feeling they are figuring out what to do.”
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