Tuesday, 19 February, 2019

Asia Bibi: Canada in talks with Pakistan over asylum

Pakistan       by Haider Ali | Published Pakistan by Haider Ali | Published
Patty Aguilar | 15 November, 2018, 13:48

Last week, the Pakistani lawyer who saved Asia Bibi, a Christian woman convicted of blasphemy, from death row fled to the Netherlands.

The Pakistani government, already struggling with a crisis surrounding Aasia Bibi, a Christian woman acquitted of blasphemy charges after eight years on death row, now has to deal with "fake" images on social media purporting to show her leaving the country or out of Pakistan.

"We are in discussions with the Pakistani government", Trudeau said in an interview with Agence France Presse in Paris, where he attended a ceremony marking the end of the First World War.

Cameron Ahmad said the government recognizes the delicate domestic context and won't comment further on the case, but he noted Canada is a welcoming country.

"They have not offered automatic asylum, whereas several countries have now come forward".

Bibi's husband, Ashiq Masih, has appealed for help to Britain, Canada, Italy and the United States.

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A jury of eight men and four women acquitted the man unanimously after deliberating for 90 minutes, the Irish Examiner reported . That the complainant was "open to meeting someone" because she was "wearing a thong with a lace front".

A mob accused her a few days later of insulting Muhammad, which led to her 2010 conviction. They've also filed a petition to repeal her Supreme Court acquittal.

Ms Bibi's ordeal dates back to 2009 when she went to fetch water for herself and fellow farm workers. Her lawyer, Saiful Malook, has been granted temporary asylum in the Netherlands after facing death threats.

On Nov 7, Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar had taken notice of the arson and damage to public properties during the Tehreek-e-Labaik Pakistan (TLP) protests that erupted after the top court's decision to acquit Aasia Bibi.

Bibi was put on death row for blasphemy in Pakistan nearly ten years ago, following allegations by Muslim women she worked with that she insulted Prophet Mohammed.

The Punjab government has submitted an interim report on the losses suffered by the province during the protests held by the religious against the acquittal of Asiab Bibi in a blasphemy case to the Supreme Court.

Since her acquittal and release, she has been threatened amid widespread protests that accelerated her departure from a Lahore prison and her transfer to Islamabad on Wednesday.

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