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Asia Bibi leaves Pakistan

by Onize Ohikere
Posted 5/08/19, 12:23 pm

Asia Bibi, the Pakistani Christian woman acquitted of blasphemy against Islam, has left the country for Canada, her lawyer said Wednesday. The Catholic mother spent eight years on death row for blasphemy after a 2009 incident with two Muslim women who worked on a farm with her and refused to drink water from the container she used. A Pakistani court sentenced her to death by hanging in 2010.

The Pakistani Supreme Court overturned her death sentence in October 2018 and upheld its ruling in February. Hard-line Islamists protested the decision and threatened to kill her, and she remained in a safe house after the ruling.

Bibi’s lawyer, Saif-ul Malook, said she arrived Tuesday in Ottawa, Canada, where her two daughters have lived since December.

“Asia Bibi is now free, and we wish her and her family all the best following their reunification,” the U.S. State Department said in a statement.

“She should never have been imprisoned in the first place, let alone endure the constant threats to her life,” Omar Waraich, the deputy South Asia director with Amnesty International, said. “This case horrifyingly illustrates the dangers of Pakistan’s blasphemy laws and the urgent need to repeal them.”

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Onize Ohikere

Onize is WORLD's Africa reporter. She is a World Journalism Institute graduate and earned a journalism degree from Minnesota State University-Moorhead. Onize resides in Abuja, Nigeria. Follow her on Twitter @onize_ohiks.

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  • Eileen's picture
    Posted: Wed, 05/08/2019 03:13 pm

    Praise God!  We have been praying for her for a long time and are are so thrilled that she is free and out of Pakistan!  

  • OldMike
    Posted: Wed, 05/08/2019 04:04 pm

    Yes, praise God that she’s out of Pakistan, but I believe her life will always be in danger unless she can completely change her identity. 

    The Amnesty International official says Pakistan’s blasphemy laws are the problem.  But I believe the true problem is extremist Muslim beliefs that all who are not Muslim are infidels deserving of ill treatment or death. It is very difficult to live as a Christian, Jew, or other in any Muslim-majority nation. 

  • Big Jim
    Posted: Wed, 05/08/2019 04:27 pm

    And it can be hard even for Muslims to live in a Muslim-majority nation. See the article about the bombing in Lahore.

  • SN
    Posted: Thu, 05/09/2019 01:23 pm

    Bless God that Mrs Bibi is finally united with her loved ones in Canada.  This is the answer to many prayers.  We need now to pray that God would protect her and her family against attack by some Jihadist cowboy wanting to carve out a name for himself.