Catholic Lady Leaves Pakistan For Canada After Years Of Demise Threats – NPR


Asia Bibi, pictured in 2010, traveled safely from Pakistan to Canada on Tuesday, in line with her lawyer. She is reunited together with her two daughters who’ve additionally been granted asylum there.


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Asia Bibi, pictured in 2010, traveled safely from Pakistan to Canada on Tuesday, in line with her lawyer. She is reunited together with her two daughters who’ve additionally been granted asylum there.


The Pakistani Christian lady who spent years on demise row after being convicted of blasphemy has left the nation the place she has been residing in hiding as one of many nation’s most reviled figures.

Asia Bibi’s lawyer, Saif-ul Malook, advised NPR the practising Catholic and her husband arrived in Canada on Tuesday, the place they’ve reunited with their youngsters.

“I’m blissful that she has been allowed to go away the nation,” Malook stated.

Though he was unable to talk with Bibi earlier than her departure, he stated the Canadian embassy organized the couple’s transfer. “She will probably be safer in Canada,” he added.

“I feel it’s a sensible resolution by the federal government of Pakistan to let her go. In spite of everything they didn’t have any authorized justification to bar her from touring as a result of she was a free citizen after the Supreme Court docket’s resolution.”

Though she was exonerated in October 2018, a evaluate petition in opposition to her launch prevented her from leaving the nation. That was rejected a number of months in the past.

Bibi, an illiterate farm employee, was convicted of blasphemy in 2010 after being accused of insulting the Prophet Muhammad by her fellow Muslim employees after they feared she may drink water from the identical vessel. She was sentenced to demise and spent greater than eight years in solitary confinement earlier than the nation’s Supreme Court docket acquitted her in October 2018.

Pakistan's High Court Acquits Asia Bibi, Christian Woman On Death Row For Blasphemy

The reversal and the courtroom’s subsequent resolution to uphold the ruling, every sparked days of violent demonstrations and rioting that roiled the nation. Spiritual radicals, who demanded her execution, levied demise threats in opposition to Bibi in addition to the judges who freed her. Additionally they urged Pakistani navy forces to revolt in opposition to the military chief of staffs and for the general public to overthrow of the federal government.

For their very own safety, Bibi and her husband had been residing in an undisclosed location since her conviction was overturned. For months, she had been planning to hitch her two daughters, who had additionally confronted threats of violence in Pakistan and fled to Canada the place they obtained asylum.

International Affairs Canada, the Canadian authorities’s diplomacy arm, stated it had no touch upon the matter.

“Asia Bibi is now free, and we want her and her household all the perfect following their reunification,” U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo stated in an announcement on Wednesday. “The USA uniformly opposes blasphemy legal guidelines anyplace on this planet, as they jeopardize the train of elementary freedoms.”

Pakistan's Religious Right Mobilizes Anew to Defend Blasphemy Laws

Responding to stories of Bibi’s profitable departure to Canada, human rights group Amnesty Worldwide stated, “She ought to by no means have been imprisoned within the first place, not to mention confronted the demise penalty. That she then needed to endure the repeated threats to her life, even after being acquitted, solely compounds the injustice. This case illustrates the risks of Pakistan’s blasphemy legal guidelines and the pressing must repeal them.”

As NPR’s Philip Reeves reported, regardless of stress from worldwide organizations and governments, in addition to extra progressive pockets of the inhabitants, “open dialogue of the blasphemy legal guidelines will stay extraordinarily troublesome in Pakistan due to the lethal response it might draw from non secular extremists.”

On Tuesday, Wilson Chowdhry, chairman of the British Pakistani Christian Affiliation, which has been in touch with Bibi all through the ordeal, stated she and her husband “have remained resolute of their religion and have prayed each day for his or her launch and immediately God has answered their prayers.”

The group stories 14 Christians, along with Bibi, have been accused of blasphemy lately and in stay in jail.

“Since 1990, at the very least 65 individuals have reportedly been killed in Pakistan over claims of blasphemy,” the BBC reported.

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