Pakistan blasphemy case: Asia Bibi takes asylum in Canada

Pakistan blasphemy case: Asia Bibi takes asylum in Canada

Pakistan blasphemy case: Asia Bibi takes asylum in Canada

Her freedom was celebrated by Christian groups who had campaigned for her release since she was wrongly convicted in 2010. Mrs Bibi had always denied blasphemy. However, she was freed past year.

Two politicians have been assassinated in connection with Bibi's case, and she spent much of her time in prison in solitary confinement because of fears she could be attacked by a guard or another prisoner.

The same radical Islamists, many of whom have been jailed for their threats, also urged the overthrow of the government following Bibi's acquittal. Rizvi's bail hearing is May 13.

"It is a great relief that this shameful ordeal has finally come to an end and Asia Bibi and her family are safe", said Omar Waraich, deputy South Asia director at Amnesty International. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief the media.

Global Affairs Canada said Wednesday it "has no comment on this matter".

Chawdhry said he had been in regular contact with Bibi's husband throughout the ordeal as well as with several diplomats as part of an worldwide effort to have her freed. "The United States uniformly opposes blasphemy laws anywhere in the world, as they jeopardize the exercise of fundamental freedoms", Pompeo.

Arab News could not independently verify the news of Bibi's departure from Pakistan or her arrival in Canada from the Pakistani government or the foreign office.

It is an incendiary issue in the Muslim-majority country, and mere allegations of insulting Islam have sparked lynchings and vigilante violence in the past.

Radical Islamists have made the punishment of blasphemy a major rallying cry, bringing tens of thousands into the streets and paralyzing major cities.

The hardline conservative Islamist group Tehreek-e-Labbaik (TLP) protested for three days and forced the government to reconsider the acquittal. Federal minister for minorities Shahbaz Bhatti was also killed after calling for her release.

"It is a big day", Saif Ul Malook, said, according to The Guardian. "These are the people on the front line". She received her passport last Wednesday, he said. He said she was longing to see her daughters, with whom she talked nearly daily from her secure location, protected by Pakistani security forces.

Blasphemy carries a maximum death penalty under Pakistan's penal code. Taseer said he waited until Bibi was safely out of Pakistan before posting the video.

Earlier this year, the country's Supreme Court said her case would not be retried, as judges rejected a petition to review their previous decision.

Ms Bibi, a farm worker and mother, was convicted in 2010 of making derogatory remarks about Islam after neighbours working in the fields with her objected to her drinking water from their glass because she was not Muslim. Public support for the strict blasphemy laws is strong.

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