Aasia Bibi, Who Was Acquitted in Blasphemy Case by Pakistan Court, Reaches Canada
Aasia Bibi was acquitted of blasphemy charges by the Pakistan Supreme Court in October last year after spending nine years in jail on death row.
File photo of Aasia Bibi.
Islamabad: Christian woman Aasia Bibi, who was acquitted by Pakistan's Supreme Court in a blasphemy case last year, has left the country and reached Canada, it was reported on Wednesday.
Bibi’s travel documents were reportedly made one month ago and her arrival in Canada was confirmed by her lawyer Saif Ul Malook to CNN.
Bibi was taken out of the country after repeated death threats from religious extremists in Pakistan, following the quashing of her conviction for blasphemy, a CNN report said.
Bibi was acquitted of blasphemy charges by the Supreme Court in October last year after spending nine years in jail on death row. After she was released, she was flown to Islamabad via special aircraft, and then taken to an undisclosed location amid tight security.
"Aasia Bibi has left the country. She is a free person and travelled on her independent will," a source in the foreign office was quoted as saying by the Dawn newspaper.
She was arrested in 2009 for allegedly using derogatory words during a quarrel with Muslim women while working on a farm in Nankana Sahib area of Punjab province. The case was filed by a local prayer leader on the complaint of the Muslim women.
The 47-year-old mother of four was convicted in 2010 by the trial court and her death sentence was maintained by the Lahore High Court in 2014. The apex court overturned her conviction last year, sparking days of violent demonstrations led by hardline Islamist parties.
Asia Bibi, a Christian woman who was acquitted by the Supreme Court in a blasphemy case has left Pakistan for Canada, sources confirmed to Geo News on Wednesday.
Sources add that Asia Bibi’s travel documents were made one month ago. Asia Bibi's arrival in Canada was confirmed by her lawyer Saif Ul Malook to CNN.
Asia Bibi’s conviction was overturned by Pakistan’s highest court on October 31, 2018 in a landmark decision. She had remained in prison as the Supreme Court’s decision triggered protests in the country from religious groups led by the Tehreek-e-Labaik Pakistan. Protesters were called off when the government agreed to impose a travel ban on Asia Bibi and not to challenge a review appeal against the verdict.
In January 2019, the apex court rejected the petition challenging the decision to acquit Asia Bibi. Following the rejection of the petition, Asia Bibi was moved to a secret location.
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