Peace rally to mark 3rd anniversary of Asia Bibi's imprisonment

Published 20 April 2012
A peace rally and concert is to be held outside the Pakistani embassy in London to mark the third anniversary of the imprisonment of Asia Bibi.

Asia Bibi, a Christian mother of five, was accused of blasphemy by co-workers in her village in Pakistan after a dispute. She was later found guilty and sentenced to death. A decision has yet to be made on her appeal.

The peace rally and concert will be held on 14 June, marking three years to the day since her detainment.

Pakistani singer-songwriter Hammad Bailey and Catholic band Ooberfuse will perform music at the concert.

Ooberfuse have penned a song called "Free Asia Bibi" that will have its first public performance at the concert.

There will also be readings from Bibi's autobiography.

One excerpt reads: "My world was turned upside down one day in June. The day should have been like any other. When I woke up in the morning I never imagined that this Sunday would change my life forever. June 14th is etched on my mind. I still recall all the details."

The event is being supported by the British Pakistani Christian Association (BPCA).

Wilson Chowdhry, who heads up the BPCA, said: "Until Asia Bibi is freed from the hellish prison where she has spent the last three years we should use all the opportunities we have in the UK to speak out on her behalf and for all those whose political and religious freedoms are compromised in any way."

Hal St John, from Ooberfuse, said it was difficult for Christians "who take their religious freedoms so much for granted" in the West to fully comprehend the violence being experienced by believers elsewhere.

The band's lead vocalist, Cherrie Anderson said: "We hope that the song Free Asia Bibi, performed in conjunction with Hammad Bailey, will help to spread the word about the grave injustice Asia and others like her are enduring today around the world."

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