Pak­istan frees ‘blas­phe­mer’

Daily Dispatch - - World News -

A Pak­istani Chris­tian woman who spent eight years on death row for blas­phemy has been freed from jail af­ter an ac­quit­tal that trig­gered Is­lamist protests, but is still in Pak­istan, of­fi­cials said Thurs­day amid ap­peals for her to be of­fered asy­lum.

Asia Bibi’s con­vic­tion was over­turned by the coun­try’s high­est court last Wed­nes­day, but she re­mained in prison as the govern­ment ne­go­ti­ated with hard­lin­ers who block­aded ma­jor cities and de­manded her im­me­di­ate ex­e­cu­tion.

Is­lamist par­ties had vowed to take to the streets of Karachi later on Thurs­day to protest at her ac­quit­tal, and num­bers were now ex­pected to swell sharply fol­low­ing news of her re­lease.

“She has been freed,” lawyer Saif-ul-Mu­look said. “I have been told that she is on a plane but no­body knows where she will land.”

Bibi’s hus­band Ashiq Masih has ap­pealed for Bri­tain or the United States to grant the fam­ily asy­lum and sev­eral govern­ments in­clud­ing those of Italy and France have of­fered help.

Italy’s in­te­rior min­is­ter Mat­teo Salvini tweeted: “I will do ev­ery­thing hu­manly pos­si­ble to guar­an­tee this young woman’s fu­ture.”

8 years on death row, and Chris­tian woman is now free, but still not safe

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.