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Asia Bibi: hoping for a revoked sentence, says Terzi

Minister for Foreign Affairs Giulio Terzi gave instructions to the Embassy in Islamabad to appeal to the Pakistani authorities on behalf of Asia Bibi, the Pakistani Christian woman held since 2009 and condemned to death on the charge of blasphemy, underscoring the Italian government’s firm expectations that the sentence would be revoked.


According to sources at the foreign ministry, Minister Terzi’s intention was to add his voice to that of daily newspaper “Avvenire”, which launched an appeal that is fully aligned with the efforts that Italy has been making since the start of the Asia Bibi affair. Hopes for her immediate release have been expressed in all encounters and contacts with the Pakistani authorities, and Minister Terzi himself expressed the same sentiments in his meeting with Pakistani Foreign Minister Rabbani Khar during the NATO Summit in Chicago.


Italy has also been engaged in intense diplomatic efforts in support of Asia Bibi in Brussels within the framework of the strategic EU-Pakistan dialogue. “The Nobel Peace Prize awarded to the EU”, Terzi underscored, “in addition to being an outstanding sign of recognition, must also act as a strong incentive to the community institutions’ ever-greater commitment to the defence of human rights and freedom of worship, indispensable preconditions for the peaceful co-existence of peoples”.

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