Calling on Irish Government to Intervene in Case of Asia Bibi

[Speaking in the Seanad during Order of Business]

Will the Leader ask the Minister for Justice and Equality to make representations to the Pakistani Government on behalf of Asia Bibi who has been in prison for the past four years for the crime of blasphemy. I find it very offensive that in any country anywhere in the world somebody is serving a custodial sentence, not to mention, as this lady is, under a death sentence which, thankfully has not yet been carried out, for the punitive crime of blasphemy. In her case there were very serious grounds for believing, even if one believed erroneously that blasphemy was sufficient grounds for a civil prosecution, that she did not commit it. This House has been keen to make representations to foreign diplomats about injustices for which it believes their governments are responsible. We need to bring this one to the attention of the Pakistani authorities.

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