WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Rand Paul (R-KY) and Chris Coons (D-DE) introduced S. Res. 109, a resolution calling on Pakistan to end the unjust imprisonment of Pakistani Christian Aasiya Noreen, commonly referred to as Asia Bibi, and to reform laws that have led to the targeting of religious minorities.
Ms. Bibi was charged with blaspheming after a disagreement with neighbors, ultimately resulting in Ms. Bibi’s imprisonment, conviction, and subsequent sentencing to death row. After an international outcry, the Pakistani Supreme Court stayed her execution.
If her sentencing were upheld, she would have been the first woman to be executed in Pakistan as a result of blasphemy laws. This resolution highlights her case and that of other religious minorities who have been indiscriminate victims of Pakistan’s blasphemy laws.
“My heart goes out to Asia Bibi as she continues to endure her unjust imprisonment in Pakistan,” said Sen. Paul. “It’s time for Pakistan to immediately release Asia Bibi and put a stop to the persecution of Christians and other religious minorities.”
“No one, in any part of the world, should be victimized for freely and peacefully practicing his or her beliefs,” said Sen. Coons. “As a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and co-chair of the Senate Human Rights Caucus, I am committed to working to protect religious freedom and human rights internationally. I urge the government of Pakistan to release Asia Bibi and work to promote an inclusive and pluralistic society, starting with reforming its blasphemy laws.”
Ms. Bibi’s case has sparked international outrage and has drawn strong condemnation from human rights groups. Sens. Paul and Coons' resolution is supported by Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and International Christian Concern.
You can read the resolution HERE.