By Damien Gayle
Last updated at 7:56 AM on 27th December 2011
Death row: Mother-of-five Asia Bibi has been condemned to hang after insulting the prophet Muhammad
A Christian woman on death row in Pakistan after being convicted of blasphemy has told how she must cook her own meals for fear of being poisoned.
In her first interview since being condemned to hang, Asia Bibi, 46, described the miserable conditions she has suffered as she waits for an opportunity to appeal.
Since her arrest in 2009, Mrs Bibi, a mother of five, has been held in the high-security District Jail Seikhupura, 22 miles north-west of Lahore.
‘I am allowed to go out for only 30 minutes every day, and allowed to meet my family for one hour every Tuesday,’ she told Christian group Life For All, in an interview seen by the Daily Telegraph.
‘I am given raw material to cook for myself, since the administration fears I might be poisoned, as other Christians accused of blasphemy were poisoned or killed in the jail.’
Hostility towards Christians in Pakistan is rife. Mrs Bibi told in the interview how one of her guards had tried been suspended after trying to strangle her.
Mrs Bibi, a farm worker from rural Punjab, was first detained in 2009. She is accused of defiling the name of the prophet Mohammed during an argument with Muslim co-workers.
She denies the charge, but was sentenced to death after the case went to trial. She is now waiting for her appeal to be heard at Lahore’s High Court.
Two of Mrs Bibi’s supporters have been assassinated this year, including Salman Taseer, governor of Punjab, who was shot dead by one of his own bodyguards.
Mrs Bibi said she was praying for her freedom to see her family again, adding: ‘I am given raw material to cook for myself, since the administration fears I might be poisoned, as other Christians accused of blasphemy were poisoned or killed in the jail.’