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This is an archived website containing material relating to Dr Rowan Williams’ time as Archbishop of Canterbury, which ended on 31st December 2012

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Archbishop's concern for Christian sentenced to death in Pakistan

Wednesday 24th November 2010

The Archbishop of Canterbury has written to the authorities in Pakistan expressing his deep concern for Asia bibi, a Christian who has been convicted under section 295-C of the Pakistan blasphemy law and sentenced to death.

Concerned for Asia bibi's safety, Dr Williams  called for greater security in light of the recent killings by extremists (on court premises) of those accused of blasphemy and hopes that the Government will be able to offer assurances about her security and that of her family and children whilst she continues in custody.

The Archbishop praised the human rights activists, religious leaders and those in the media in Pakistan who have spoken out on this case, as well as the President of Pakistan for taking a direct and personal interest in the matter. He expressed the hope that the President would pardon Asia bibi and lift the death sentence, as well as urging reform and amendment of the legislation as a matter of urgency. 

Asia bibi was in police custody from June 2009 and then sentenced to death on 7th November 2010 under section 295-C of the Pakistan Penal Code. She is married with two daughters and they are one of three Christian families in a village of more than 1,500.

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