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Pakistan Court Upholds Death Sentence for Blasphemy


FILE - Asia Bibi, a Pakistani Christian woman who has been sentenced to death for blasphemy.

FILE - Asia Bibi, a Pakistani Christian woman who has been sentenced to death for blasphemy.

A Pakistani court has upheld the death penalty of a Christian woman whose 2010 conviction for blasphemy led to the assassination of two politicians who supported her.

Asia Bibi, a mother of four, has been in prison since being convicted of making derogatory remarks about Islam's prophet, Muhammad, during an argument with a Muslim woman.

Bibi's lawyer said he will appeal Thursday's verdict to Pakistan's Supreme Court.

Amnesty International's deputy Asia Pacific director, David Griffiths, described the fact that Bibi could pay with her life for an argument as "sickening" and "a grave injustice."

In 2011, Pakistani Minister of Minorities Shahbaz Bhatti and eastern Punjab governor Salman Taseer were killed for supporting Bibi and opposing blasphemy laws.

Rights groups say the blasphemy law is increasingly exploited by religious extremists as well as ordinary Pakistanis to settle personal scores.

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