Pakistan set to rule on woman facing death for blasphemy

The daughters of Pakistani Christian woman Aasia Bibi pose with an image of their mother. Pakistan's top court is set to announce on Wednesday a final verdict on Aasia Bibi who has been sentenced to death in 2010 on blasphemy charges. (Reuters)
Updated 30 October 2018

Pakistan set to rule on woman facing death for blasphemy

  • Bibi was arrested in 2009 after a quarrel with Muslim women.
  • Group of Islamists have demanded her execution, and the governor of Punjab was assassinated in 2011 for supporting her

ISLAMABAD: A defense lawyer says Pakistan's top court is set to announce a final verdict on a Christian woman sentenced to death in 2010 on blasphemy charges.
Saiful Malook, a lawyer for Asia Bibi, says the Supreme Court will announce a verdict on Wednesday, and that he is "hopeful for Bibi's acquittal."
Bibi was arrested in 2009 after a quarrel with Muslim women. Group of Islamists have demanded her execution, and the governor of Punjab was assassinated in 2011 for supporting her.
Insulting Islam is punishable by death in Pakistan, and the mere rumor of blasphemy can ignite lynchings.
Her case is being closely watched internationally as a test of minority rights in Pakistan.
Bibi's first appeal was dismissed, but the Supreme Court stayed her execution in 2015.


Greece moves more migrants to mainland as arrivals increase

Updated 29 min 1 sec ago

Greece moves more migrants to mainland as arrivals increase

  • Some 697 migrants and refugees arrived in the port of Elefsina near Athens from the island of Samos
  • Greece is struggling with the biggest resurgence in refugee and migrant flows across the Aegean Sea from Turkey since 2015

ATHENS: Authorities in Greece moved more asylum-seekers to the mainland on Tuesday as part of a strategy to reduce the refugee population on outlying islands after an increase in arrivals in recent months.

Some 697 migrants and refugees arrived in the port of Elefsina near Athens from the island of Samos, officials said. Earlier, 120 people arrived from Lesbos.

Greece is struggling with the biggest resurgence in refugee and migrant flows across the Aegean Sea from Turkey since 2015, when more than a million crossed into Europe, many of them via Greece.

The islands, which are closest to Turkey, have been struggling under the influx, with some 33,700 refugees and migrants in overcrowded camps, according to the UN refugee agency UNHCR.

In late September, a woman died in a fire in a tent in a camp on Lesbos, while another fire in a severely overcrowded camp in Samos forced hundreds of people into the streets this month.

“Our focus was mainly on Samos because we want things there to calm down,” migration ministry secretary Manos Logothetis told Reuters.

More than 12,000 people arrived in Greece in September, the highest level in the three-and-a-half years since the EU agreed a deal with Turkey to seal the Aegean corridor to Europe.

Logothetis said up to 300 more people would be leaving Samos this week, and up to 2,000 from all outlying islands next week. Greece aims to move up to 20,000 off the islands by the end of the year, he said.

Athens has announced a stricter migration policy to deal with the crisis, including plans to deport 10,000 people who do not qualify for asylum by the end of next year.