Parliamentary question - E-009186/2014Parliamentary question

VP/HR — Diplomatic initiatives to save Asia Bibi

Question for written answer E-009186-14
to the Commission (Vice-President/High Representative)
Rule 130
Rachida Dati (PPE) , Michèle Alliot-Marie (PPE) , Franc Bogovič (PPE) , Elmar Brok (PPE) , Alain Cadec (PPE) , Lorenzo Cesa (PPE) , Carlos Coelho (PPE) , Lara Comi (PPE) , Pál Csáky (PPE) , Michel Dantin (PPE) , Angélique Delahaye (PPE) , Herbert Dorfmann (PPE) , Norbert Erdős (PPE) , Santiago Fisas Ayxelà (PPE) , Elisabetta Gardini (PPE) , Françoise Grossetête (PPE) , Krzysztof Hetman (PPE) , György Hölvényi (PPE) , Brice Hortefeux (PPE) , Marc Joulaud (PPE) , Philippe Juvin (PPE) , Sandra Kalniete (PPE) , Tunne Kelam (PPE) , Giovanni La Via (PPE) , Alain Lamassoure (PPE) , Jérôme Lavrilleux (PPE) , Constance Le Grip (PPE) , Ramona Nicole Mănescu (PPE) , Gabriel Mato (PPE) , Roberta Metsola (PPE) , Miroslav Mikolášik (PPE) , Francisco José Millán Mon (PPE) , Nadine Morano (PPE) , Elisabeth Morin-Chartier (PPE) , Renaud Muselier (PPE) , Aldo Patriciello (PPE) , Marijana Petir (PPE) , Julia Pitera (PPE) , Salvatore Domenico Pogliese (PPE) , Maurice Ponga (PPE) , Cristian Dan Preda (PPE) , Franck Proust (PPE) , Claude Rolin (PPE) , Tokia Saïfi (PPE) , Massimiliano Salini (PPE) , Anne Sander (PPE) , Remo Sernagiotto (PPE) , Michaela Šojdrová (PPE) , Davor Ivo Stier (PPE) , Dubravka Šuica (PPE) , Pavel Svoboda (PPE) , Bogdan Brunon Wenta (PPE) , Anna Záborská (PPE)

On 16 October 2014, the Lahore High Court in Pakistan upheld the death penalty imposed on Asia Bibi, a Christian mother of five, who was accused of committing blasphemy by drinking from a Muslims-only fountain.

While an appeal to the Supreme Court of Pakistan and, as a last resort, presidential intervention, could save Asia Bibi from the death penalty, the tensions stirred up by religious extremists make an act of clemency on the part of the Pakistani authorities far from certain.

There are increasing moves being made locally, with those who defend this Pakistani mother often risking their life by speaking out. That is why this highly symbolic matter requires a large-scale international response, in which the European Union can play a major part.

The European Union has a duty to take action to defend the values of tolerance and freedom of religion throughout the world.

Can the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy indicate what urgent diplomatic initiatives the European Union plans to take with respect to Pakistan to enable an act of clemency to be made in the case of Asia Bibi?