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Asia Bibi

Question for Foreign and Commonwealth Office

UIN HL2269, tabled on 12 October 2016

To ask Her Majesty’s Government when they last made representations to the government of Pakistan concerning the trial of Asia Bibi for blasphemy; what was the nature of those representations; and what was the response by the government of Pakistan to those representations.

Answered on

24 October 2016

I remain concerned about Ms Asia Bibi, following the postponement of her Supreme Court appeal hearing on 13 October. The British High Commission in Islamabad continues to monitor developments in her case closely. We raise regularly our concerns about misuse of the blasphemy laws with the Pakistani Government, and continue to urge Pakistan to adhere to its international obligations and uphold the rule of law. During his visit to Pakistan in March, the former Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my Rt Hon. Friend the Member for Runnymede and Weybridge (Mr Hammond), made clear our concerns about minority communities and misuse of the blasphemy laws.

The UK supported the EU statement of October 2014 following the decision of the Lahore High Court to uphold the conviction of Ms Bibi. We will continue to work with our EU and other international partners to ensure our views are made clear to the Pakistani authorities.