The Lord Bishop of St Albans: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what representations they have made to the government of Pakistan about the imminent appeal hearing for Asia Bibi at the Pakistani Supreme Court on the charge of blasphemy. [HL2175]
Baroness Anelay of St Johns: On 13 October the Supreme Court in Pakistan postponed Ms Asia Bibi’s appeal hearing indefinitely. I remain concerned about Ms Bibi and continue to follow 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.