sabato 15 dicembre 2012

E-mail Poonam Datar (Office of Jean Lambert - European Parliament) on the case of Asia Noreen (Bibi) - 13/12/2012

Ms. Jean Lambert  (Chair Delegation for relations with the countries of South Asia of European Parliament)

Dear Mariacarmela,

On behalf of Jean Lambert, thank you for your letter concerning the case of Asia Noreen (Bibi). Jean is well aware and active on the situation of blasphemy laws in Pakistan.
As you would be aware, the European Parliament has adopted a number of Resolutions on this case early in 2011. Jean tabled the 20th January 2011 Resolution on Pakistan, particularly regarding the murder of Salmaan Taseer. This text, among others, expresses concerns about the enforcement of the blasphemy laws in Pakistan, particularly regarding cases such as Asia Bibi's where the death penalty has been conferred. The EU remains strongly opposed to the use of the death penalty as a means of punishment.
Jean has also met more recently with Prime Minister Ashraf, other Ministers and leaders of political parties in Pakistan when she led a Parliamentary delegation there in July of this year. In the course of these meetings, Jean raised the subject of the blasphemy laws and other human rights issues, and voiced the EU's concerns on these matters.
Jean continues to regularly meet with human rights activists to receive updates on the situation of enforcement of the blasphemy laws and its effect on both Muslim's and religious minorities (as is widely known, most of those persecuted under these laws are in fact Muslim). Unfortunately, the issue of blasphemy still remains very much a societal as well as a legal issue.
The recent case of Rimsha Masih and the dropping of blasphemy charges against her was most encouraging, and hopefully a sign of reform in Pakistan. Jean will continue to work towards discouraging the misuse of the blasphemy laws, and most importantly, against the death sentence that accompanies it.
With best regards,
Poonam Datar

Office of Jean Lambert, Green MEP for London
European Parliament

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