Canadian Lawmaker Garnett Genuis welcomes SCP decision to release Asia Bibi
19 Jan 2019
Alberta, Canada: November 2, 2018. (PCP) MP Garnett Genuis in a statement on decision of Supreme Court of Pakistan to acquit blasphemy accused Christian woman Asia Bibi have termed it as a great day in the history of Pakistan.
Pakistan's Supreme Court acquitted Asia Bibi of false blasphemy charges. In the ruling, Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar said that "Tolerance is the basic principle of Islam" and that "Islam is also very tough on those who level false allegations of a crime".
MP Genuis said "There is more work to be done on the blasphemy law issue, but this decision is a monumental move forward for justice, equality, and the rule of law in Pakistan"
"I want to congratulate the court, and all Pakistanis and I share in the joy felt by the Canadian Pakistani community and by Pakistanis around the world. Now we also remember, in a particular way, those heroic human rights defenders who gave their lives to advocate for justice and human rights in Pakistan. We honour the sacrifice of Salman Taseer, former Governor of Punjab, and Shahbaz Bhatti, former federal Minister of Minorities. Both knowingly risked and gave their lives to publicly advocate for Asia Bibi's release and for the reform of Pakistan's blasphemy laws. In fact, it was Shahbaz Bhatti's tenacious advocacy for religious minorities that helped inspire the Conservative government's initiative to inaugurate the Office of Religious Freedom" added MP Garnett Genuis
MP Garnett who represents Sherwood Park-Fort Saskatchewan in Canadian House of Common since 1915 said "Pakistan has taken an important step forward, and Canada must deepen its constructive engagement on human rights issues with Pakistan and around the world. Asia Bibi is free at last, but for the sake of vulnerable minorities like her who continue to face unjust charges and suffer religious persecution, I hope her release inspires us to recommit ourselves to advancing freedom, democracy, human rights, and the rule of law now more than ever"